The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE Bomana jail commander Joe Joko, Sgt Major Joe Madidu and three other Correctional Services officers were arrested yesterday soon after the Government raised security concerns about the manner in which high risk prisoners were allowed to roam freely.
The CS commissioner confirmed the arrests.
Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc said the four officers were arrested and charged at the Boroko police station following public complaints that high-risk prisoners were roaming around Port Moresby conducting business as normal citizens.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill advised National Security Advisory committee chairman Sir Manasupe to immediately address the issue of high risk prisoners who were let out from the maximum prison unit periodically.
A few minutes after Sir Manasupe raised concerns at unacceptable manner in which the CS officers were handling prisoners and allowing them to conduct business like normal citizens, police arrested the commander and his five warders.
Sir Manasupe said on several occasions the public has raised concerns that prisoner Dr Theo Yasause, who was convicted for murder and sentenced to more than 30 years, was allowed to roam freely to conduct private business without being escorted by CS officers.
He said his office received three reports of Yasause being spotted by the public.
“This is unacceptable. We are sick and tired of those disciplinary forces that compromise their duties and the oath they took to allow common criminals to move around freely,” Sir Manasupe said.
“What kind of a security system and a country are we running for disciplinary forces that should protect the citizens compromising with criminals?”
He said as chairman of national security advisory committee he had instructed the CS hierarchy to take action two months ago after receiving complaints from the public but nothing has been done.
He said when the prime minister instructed him after receiving phone calls from the public, he instructed the police commissioner to take appropriate action and laid criminals charges on the commander and his accomplices.
“It is a serious control and command issue and that is unacceptable for our CS officers to allow prisoners to mix around freely with the public and do their private business which is a breach of law and duty,” Sir Manasupe said.
“The Government is sick and tired of this kind of action and we call on the public to report such actions,” he said.
He said the same commander was not present on duty at the time of the escape by William Kapris and two others.
Sir Manasupe said Yasause and other prisoners have also been allowed to access cell phones and had posted comments on social media such as Facebook.
He said there has been a serious break down in control and command resulting in mass breakouts, aiding hard core criminals to escape and allowing criminals to run around freely and the other sex trade and so on in the jail.