PNG INVESTIGATES JAIL BREAK, GUARDS MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 30, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea prison officials say a man sentenced to death was among 62 inmates who escaped from a Port Moresby jail last week.

Radio Australia correspondent Richard Dinnen reports that there have been allegations prison guards may have assisted the jailbreak.

"A preliminary report to the Correctional Services commissioner says guards on duty at the time of the escape may not have been at their appointed stations, and this may have allowed the escapees time to cut through the perimeter fence.

"Of greater concern is the allegation that a warden may have given prisoners the bolt cutter they used to get through the fence.

"Among the escapees were several convicted murderers and rapists, including Charles Ombusu, the first man sentenced to death under a capital punishment law introduced four years ago. He later appealed and was given a custodial sentence.

"Port Moresby residents have given police valuable information about the escapees, but so far none have been recaptured.

"Richard Dinnen, Radio Australia, Port Moresby."

For additional reports from The Australian, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Australian. 

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