Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Suspects flee

Sir George murder case hits dead end




SIX suspects charged with the wilful murder of pioneer businessman Sir George Constantinou have escaped from the Boroko police cells, The National reports.

Their escape, blamed on police negligence, had placed in jeopardy efforts to bring to justice those involved in the brutal killing of Sir George last Dec 16.

The six were among nine inmates who were virtually handed the keys to the cell gate to walk out to freedom in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The six suspects had been held at the Bomana prison awaiting their trial in court, but were brought to the Boroko police station last Friday for an identification parade.

The parade was to assist police in their ongoing investigations.

NCD metropolitan commander Chief Supt Fred Yakasa and his operations commander, Chief Insp Andy Bawa, on Sunday confirmed the escape of the suspects.

Chief Insp Bawa said the six suspects and three others escaped from the cells around 4am on Saturday.

He said it appeared the policeman who was manning the gate of the cells accidentally left the key on a table inside the cell, and the suspects grabbed it while the policeman was asleep.

They opened the gate and let themselves out.

Three senior police officers, who were on duty during the time of the escape, have been suspended, pending an investigation by the Police Internal Affairs division.

Chief Supt Yakasa said all efforts would be made to recapture the suspects.

Both Chief Supt Yakasa and Chief Insp Bawa yesterday appealed to the public, residents, community leaders and youths in settlements to help police locate the suspects.

“They are very dangerous to the communities, so we urge the public to notify police if they see them.”

The police information lines are 324-4200 or 324-4229.

Five of the suspects are from Goilala, Central province, while one is from Morobe.

Sir George was killed along Nigibata Road in Gerehu, next to the Tete settlement, as he was leaving his timber yard last December, leading to a public outcry against the high level of violent crime in Port Moresby.


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