7 Sep 2004

Samoan judge reiterates call for maximum security prison

10:24 am on 7 September 2004

Justice Vui Clarence Nelson has again called for a maximum prison to protect the public in Samoa from what he called "hardened criminals," who escape from custody.

The senior District Court judge said there have been cases of prisoners escaping then stealing firearms and other weapons and committing serious assaults.

Justice Nelson said he currently had appearing before him a man who had escaped with another prisoner from the punishment block at Tafaigata Prison near Apia in March.

Wardens on duty had forgotten to lock the door.

In calling for a maximum prison, the judge said this was a law and order issue that was becoming worse and worse.