By ELIZABETH VUVU
JOSEPH Balalar, who has served 19 years behind bars for a series of armed robberies, was freed on parole recently.
Another prisoner, Ben Kairu, from New Ireland province, who was jailed for murder, was also released on parole.
Balalar and Kairu were both released from East New Britain’s Kerevat prison following decisions by
the National Parole Board.
Acting prisons commander Chief Insp Margaret Garap announced the releases on Saturday.
Balalar was the longest serving prisoner and Kairu was transferred to Kerevat in 2002 after having
spent some years at the Kavieng prison.
Hosea Morongo, a spokesman for the inmates, said Kerevat was left out in several releases by the board and described the release of the two prisoners as “a far cry and long overdue”.
“There has been so much talk about parole for eligible prisoners here.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed that there will not be further delays.
“This prison has missed out on parole hearings for the last four to five consecutive years.
“The privileges of inmates have not been respected, thus provoking lawlessness and disorder.
“The prison breakouts in Buimo, Bomana and Bihute are examples of such provocations,” Mr Morongo said.