9 Mar 2009

Suspects in PNG's Constantinou murder case escape prison

7:44 pm on 9 March 2009

Seven suspects in the murder of one of Papua New Guinea's most successful businessmen have escaped from their cell while a guard slept.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the prisoners escaped from the same Port Moresby police cell that 26 prisoners broke out of last year.

The men and another two inmates walked out after taking the sleeping officers' keys early Sunday morning.

Greek-born Sir George Constantinou, 75, was killed last December in a botched carjacking near one of his timber yards in the capital.

The mass public outpouring of grief and anger over the killing led to the demolishing of the settlement where the suspects lived.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, PNG's police deputy commissioner Geoffrey Vaki has been suspended after allegations he pushed the mother of his child out of a moving vehicle.

She was rescued by witnesses and has a dislocated hip as well as bruises to her back and body.