28 Mar 2013

Madang police won't compromise with escapees in PNG

9:00 am on 28 March 2013

The acting provincial commander of Madang in Papua New Guinea says police won't be negotiating with escaped prisoners, who are claiming they were mis-treated in prison.

49 prisoners escaped from Beon Jail in Madang last week, sparking a manhunt in the country's east.

Four have since been apprehended and police are warning some of the men are very dangerous.

Inspector Jacob Bando says an escapee contacted a journalist to say that the breakout was planned to highlight grievances of inmates.

Mr Bando says the group wants to negotiate with political representatives but says if that fails to lead to a surrender, then police will act.

"If they do not then we will go in hard, we have no negotiation, we won't compromise with those prisoners. It's just that our community are not helping police, we're not ruling out that some of these people are being assisted by some non-good local leaders."

Jacob Bando says he gave the escapees a deadline of this morning to come forward.

He says the police also want to know if there is any truth to the prisoners' claims of mis-treatment.