24 Apr 2003

Solomon Islands police think prison escapers may have had inside help

10:22 am on 24 April 2003

Solomon Islands police say they are considering the possibility that four dangerous prisoners who escaped from the country's main prison in Honiara early yesterday morning received inside help.

The four include Edmund Sae, a regular police sergeant, who is facing murder charges over the assassination of former police commissioner Sir Frederick Soaki on Malaita ten weeks ago.

Sae eluded police on Malaita for weeks following the killing of Sir Frederick, before being arrested by members of the STAR division.

Two of the other three prisoners were also facing murder charges in connection with unrelated killings.

The police spokesman Charles Lemoa says it is not known how the four got out but he says one option they are looking at is that they may have received assistance from prison staff or others.