24 Nov 2009

Head of PNG Prisons probed for misconduct in office

1:01 pm on 24 November 2009

The head of Papua New Guinea's Correctional Services has been referred to the country's corruption watchdog over allegations of misconduct in office.

Richard Sikani has been referred to the public prosecutor amid allegations of financial mismanagement.

The Ombudsman Commission has declined to give details in attempts to stop what is says could be a trial by media.

But PNG's Post Courier newspaper says the charges relate to allegations of misappropriating several million kina during his time in office.

The case will go before a leadership tribunal consisting of three serving judges at a date to be set.

In September, 54 prisoners escaped from Bomana jail when wardens did not turn up to work in part as a protest against reduced pay penalty rates and also so they could attend a rugby league match between PNG and Australia.