17 Mar 2008

President won't grant pardons on request of prisoners, says Vanuatu Corrections

4:22 pm on 17 March 2008

Vanuatu's Correctional Services Department says the President will not grant pardons on the request of prisoners.

Five prisoners from the country's main prison in Port Vila remain on the run amid reports that they wanted to be pardoned.

The rest of the 22 prisoners who escaped ten days ago after being allowed to walk free from the facility are now back in prison.

The director of Correctional Services, Michael Taun, says those inmates still on the loose are not dangerous to the public.

He has dismissed reports the prisoners escaped in protest at receiving no response to their written request to Vanuatu's President to pardon them.

"I mean that's unrealistic... I stopped the letter. It came to me and didn't go beyond my office. I stopped it and then I replied to it. And there was another letter that went as far as the President and it didn't go via my office. I mean, the President will not pardon upon the request of detainees."

Michael Taun