By JACOB POK
A WOMAN “lawyer” aided the daring escape of 12 high-risk prisoners, including bank robbery suspect William Nanua Kapris from the Bomana maximum security unit in another hostage situation yesterday morning.
Kapris and five others, regarded as dangerous, had been involved in series of major robberies.
Besides Kapris, the others are Oliver Ben Gabi, Ben Nom, Elizah Tingal, Kito Aso and Don Aka.
The other escapees were from the main compound who were temporarily housed at the maximum security unit.
They included John Siko Wel, who was sodomising young prisoners, James Pari, who is a serial rapist jailed for the rape and murder of a woman pilot in Lae a few years ago, Peter Plesman, Greg Varvar, Duma Korowa and Raphael Walimini.
Plesman, Korowa and Walimani are on death row, or condemned detainees.
The escape drama started at the Port Moresby General Hospital at about 8.30am where a detainee, accompanied by three warders, was being treated for epilepsy.
Two warders were with the prisoner while the driver, who was in the vehicle, was held up by armed men who blindfolded him and took him hostage to a hotel room.
There he was forced to call the maximum security unit guards to inform them to expect a female human rights lawyer (named) from a law firm to visit prisoner John Siko Wel.
Correctional Service Commissioner Richard Sikani said the daring escape in a hostage situation was aided by this lone woman in a clear breach of established security procedures on which visitation is granted only by the Commissioner, deputy commissioner (operations) or the courts.
Mr Sikani said the woman pretended to act as a human rights lawyer and went straight to the MSU in a blue vehicle where she delivered a letter to the guards and passed through the main gate.
He said the letter was a request letter to the officer in charge of the MSU, seeking entry to give legal assistance to the prisoner Wel.
Mr Sikani said while she was inside the prison, a guard assisted her into the visitor’s section where the prisoner was called out to meet her.
He said they sat and talked at a round table for a while and then the woman lawyer moved her chair and bend forward and in that instance passed a pistol to Wel who held up the guard and ordered the other guard to unlock the cell gates and emptied the entire facility of its 12 prisoners.
He said they then made their way out of the main gate and escaped in the vehicle with the woman at around 10.33am.
Mr Sikani said his office and polices were inform of the escape an hour later at 11.30am.
This is the second escape of robbery suspect Kapris, who pulled off a similar escape in 2006 where he used a doctor to write that he was very sick and a lawyer wrote to prison officials persuading them to release him for treatment, where he escaped when in hospital.
Mr Sikani has reported the matter as high priority to the National Security Advisory Committee, who will be meeting today to institute an independent investigation while the CS will carry out its own.
He said all the ports and airports were now being monitored by police and Correctional Service officers and appealed to the community to help report suspicious looking people.
Mr Sikani also asked the public to take precaution and for cooperation in reporting in the escapees.