By JEFFREY ELAPA
FORMER Madang governor James Yali, who was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for rape, was released on parole with 11 others last Friday.
Mr Yali only served one-third of his jail term after recommendations from the jail management and consultations with churches, community and the victim’s relatives.
Even after his release, he and his family maintained his innocence.
According to Beon jail officers, Mr Yali and 11 others were released by lunch time last week after they were recommended by the management of the jail.
The senior officer, who did not want to be named, said acting Correctional Services Commissioner Henry Wavik had instructed the release of the prisoners although there was an earlier instruction not to release them until they received the original release order.
However, the source said Mr Wavik later reversed his decision and advised the management to release them after signing the necessary release forms in the presence of provincial probation officer Steven Banari and jail commander Joe Jako.
Several officers interviewed said Mr Yali still maintained his leadership while in jail.
They said he discouraged inmates from escaping and obeying the authorities This factor contributed to his release.
During the signing of the release instruments, Mr Jako and Mr Banari said any prisoner was entitled to probation depending on their behavior and attitude.
Meanwhile, Mr Yali declined to talk to reporters saying: “I will do so at a time I feel like doing so.”
It is understood that relatives of the victim were planning to meet with Mr Yali before being released but that did not happen. However, it is understood they were prepared to meet anytime.
Attempts to contact Mr Yali were unsuccessful as he is believed to be out in his village.
Meanwhile, prominent resident and leader John Buri has called on the people not to portray Mr Yali asa bad man to make headlines.