23 Sep 2003

Vanuatu police dismiss claims of mistrearting prisoners in Santo

8:23 pm on 23 September 2003

Vanuatu police say there is no basis for a claim by prisoners in Santo that they were mistreated at the prison in Luganville.

Five inmates escaped earlier this month, saying they were not fed properly but both the prison management and the police have dismissed the claim.

Senior Sergeant Victor Rom of the Luganville police says the public is relieved that four of the fugitives, who were considered high-risk inmates, are back behind bars.

And he says the remaining escapee has been tracked to a neighbouring island.

"He escaped from Santo and paddled across by canoe and he is now on Malekula and the police on Malekula are searching for him. They chased him and he ran away in the bush and he is still hiding in the bush and police are still searching fro him."

Senior Sergeant Victor Tom