10 Nov 2010

Uncertainty over PNG inmate shooting probe

7:44 pm on 10 November 2010

It's unclear who will investigate the shooting of six prisoners in Papua New Guinea who were trying to escape after an outbreak of dysentery killed three inmates.

The police say they will investigate once Baisu jail delivers a report on the shootings.

But Correctional Services is now reported to have handed the case over to a coroner.

Jo O'Brien reports

"The Mount Hagen Metropolitian Superintendent says the prison is conducting its own investigation into the breakout in which 55 prisoners escaped, and six were shot dead as guards tried to prevent them fleeing. John Kale says once police have received reports from corrections and health officials, they will investigate and prosecute those at fault. But the National is reporting that Corrections Minister Tony Aimo and Commisioner Richard Sikani say the wardens acted within their rights, and that while there will be a coronial inquest there will be no internal investigation. That contradicts the wishes of relatives of the dead men who told the paper the prisoners were unarmed and did not attack the guards. They're calling for an immediate investigation, saying the prisoners fled because they feared for their lives as corrections failed to address the deteriorating health conditions."