By ELIAS LARI and JULIA DAIA BORE
TWO Correctional Services officers in Enga province and three security personnel guarding the Wabag court house were arrested for allegedly aiding the escape of a prisoner at the Wabag court at around 1pm yesterday.
Acting Enga provincial police commander Chief Insp Martin Lakari said the five were locked up at the Wabag police and would face court tomorrow.
He said those arrested had allegedly helped free a prisoner who was to be jailed for 10 years for attempted murder.
Chief Supt Lakari said people should not help such law breakers to escape from the law.
He said CS officers and security guards were supposed to help police and other law agencies to maintain law and order in the country.
Enga resident judge Justice Graham Ellis sentenced Frank Maliso despite his absence.
Maliso, 34, from Langutes village in Wabag was charged by police last year after he shot two locals with a pistol.
Maliso operates a beer tavern at his Langutes village when he was confronted by some drunkards and had arguments them, then he got his pistol and shot two men in their legs.
Maliso is married to two women and has four children under the age of two.
With six months already spent in custody, he is to spend nine years and six months in jail. Justice Ellis noted his escape when handing down the sentence.
The judge said: “For the avoidance of doubt, I should state that I have ignored the offender’s escape from lawful custody when arriving at that sentence.”
From evidence adduced during trial, the court found that Maliso intended to kill the two when he shot them at about 6am last June 27 at the Wabag beer club.
During the trial, Maliso gave evidence to suggest that he is a leader and a popular person in the local community.
While handing down his decision yesterday, the judge said: “People who are leaders and who are popular should set an example. The only example the conduct of this offender set is a bad example. There is no good reason to have a pistol and to enter a beer club and fire as many as six shots.
“That is the conduct that might be expected of a gangster, not a leader.
“To make matters worse, the offender had another person with him who was armed with a high-powered rifle. This was a place where people should be able to go and have a drink without being shot at. It was a beer club, not a gun club,” Justice Ellis said.
He said: “There was a time when Enga province in general and Wabag in particular were referred to as the “Wild West” of PNG. That reputation will only go away when gunslingers like this offender are sentenced to prison.”