5 Tongan Police Officers Investigated After Prisoner Escapes

Police officers are now going through a disciplinary process after investigation 'identified serious shortfalls in accepted procedures'

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, November 4, 2016) – Five Tongan Police Officers in Neiafu, Vava’u, are under investigation in relation to the escape of murder-accused American, Dean Jay Fletcher, from a police station on Thursday, September 29.

Commissioner Stephen Caldwell said today a thorough investigation carried out by Chief Inspector Meleane Taueli and her team “identified serious shortfalls in accepted procedures in managing prisoners.”

“These police officers are now being held to account through a disciplinary process,” he said.

“No further details will be released as investigation continues.”

Fletcher escaped custody from the police station in Neiafu at around 3:30am on 29 September and absconded to American Samoa in his yacht 'Sea Oak'. He was in custody awaiting arraignment on charges that included murder in relation to his wife Patricia Linne Kearney's death on 7 July, on the yacht.

The couple had first arrived in Vava’u on the 'Sea Oak' on 26 May and docked at the Puatalefusi Harbour.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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