24 Jan 2019

Samoa minister accepts some blame for prison escape

3:41 pm on 24 January 2019

Samoa's Minister of Prisons and Corrections, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, is shouldering some of the blame for the escape of two prisoners on Sunday morning.

Tialavea Tionisio Hunt.

Tialavea Tionisio Hunt Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Aniseko Vaelei and Pati Chong Nee are still at large and police have warned they're dangerous.

The minister said the inmates ran away after a morning church service in which he took part.

As well as himself, he blamed the management of Tafaigata prison for being careless and breaching its responsibilities.

"They escaped after the service when the prison guards took them back to their cells", he told parliament.

The prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi asked Tialavea whether the escapees had taken off while church goers had their eyes closed.

The minister responded saying sometimes nothing is totally perfect.