Two Auki Prison Escapees Caught In Solomon Islands

Both men with unexplained injuries, remanded to National Referral Hospital

By Bira’au W. Saeni, in Auki

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 5, 2017) – Two prison escapees are fighting for their lives at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) following their capture at a remote village in east Malaita, Tuesday night.

The duo scaled the high-security Auki Correctional Centre on New Year’s night in a daring escape that baffled authorities.

But their freedom was short-lived after they were arrested at Sisikwae village in east Malaita.

They’ve also suffered serious injuries and it’s not clear whether villagers or police were responsible.

The injuries were life-threatening that Kilu’ufi Hospital authorities in Malaita have to refer them to the NRH yesterday.

One was sent in a passenger craft, while the other had to be airlifted by a helicopter.

Malaita Provincial Police Commander David Wate said police arrested the two escapees at Sisikwae village with the help of locals.

He could not say who inflicted the injuries.

“The injuries could either be sustained from the prison fence during their escape or attacks from villagers,” he said.

“Investigation into the matter is ongoing,” Mr Wate added.

Kilu’ufi Hospital authorities confirmed to the Solomon Star two seriously injured males were conveyed to the hospital by police at around 12.30am Wednesday.

“One suffered a serious cut to his leg. It’s likely the leg will be amputated,” a Kilu’ufi hospital spokesman said.

“The other suffered life-threatening injuries to his tummy,” the spokesman added.

“Both cases cannot be dealt with at Kilu’ufi so we have to refer them to the National Referral Hospital.”

Mr Wate earlier told the Solomon Star both prisoners were on remand awaiting their trials this year.

One faces murder and rape charges.

This was in relation to the death of an under-aged girl who was allegedly raped and killed in the Mbaelelea area of north Malaita, early last year.

According to Mr Wate, the accused is due to face the court this year.

The other is being held for other criminal offences.

The two prisoners escaped between the hours of 12am and 6am on New Year’s night.

Commissioner of Correctional Service Solomon Islands (CSSI) has not been available to comment on the incident.

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