Govt gives K3.5m to probe prison escape

National, Normal


THE National Government has formed a four-man independent committee to look into why there are frequent prison escapes.
It has also allocated up to K3.5 million towards the investigations into the escape and recapture of William Nanua Kapris and 11 other high-risk criminals who were sprung from Bomana Correctional Service’s maximum security at 10 am on Tuesday.
“This special high-powered committee consisting of four members (names yet to be released) has been directed to complete its investigations within one month for it to be taken to the National Executive Council,” Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc said.
Half a million Kina from the allocation will be for the special investigations by the special independent committee, separate of the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) and up to K3 million for the police operations to recapture the 12 prison escapees.
While announcing this, Mr Zurenuoc assured the public that the escapees would soon be rearrested.
He said: “I want to assure the public that the Government is taking every effort to recapture the 12 high-risk prison escapees.”
“I have been reliably informed that they should be arrested within the next 24 to 48 hours,” Mr Zurenuoc told a media conference yesterday.
“The committee of four men, with administrative support from the Office of Security, Coordination and Assessment (OSCA) will start work as soon as funding was in place.
“Three of the four-committee membership would come from the NSAC,” he said.
Major issues to be deal with in the investigations include :  whether they were related to issues of personnel, administrative or funding within the CS.
 Mr Zurenuoc also said the CS Commissioner had been directed to immediately conduct its own investigations into the recent escape.
“Particularly, to ensue that the warders on duty at the time of escape are questioned and reprimanded as to why they “allowed this breach (of security) to occur.”
“There was a clear lapse in prisons’ security systems,” he said.