20 Jan 2010

PNG Correctional Services Minister stripped of portfolio

8:02 pm on 20 January 2010

Papua New Guinea's Correctional Services Minister, Tony Aimo, has been stripped of his portfolio following the escape of 12 high-risk criminals from the Bomana maximum-security prison last week.

A statement from the office of PNG's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says that Mr Aimo has been told he will remain Minister but without portfolio.

The Correctional Services portfolio will be vested with Sir Michael until further notice and after an investigation into the escape is carried out.

On Monday, Mr Aimo told reporters he believed the escape was enabled with the assistance of staff at Bomana.

Guards on duty at the time are now being investigated.