2 Apr 2020

Brawl at Samoa's new prison, five injured

7:46 am on 2 April 2020

The troubled prison system in Samoa is again under the spotlight after a brawl in one of the cells landed five inmates in hospital in Apia with injuries sustained from an improvised weapon on Tuesday.

Samoa Observer reports Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil had confirmed the brawl saying police confiscated a pair of scissors used in the fight.

"Four prisoners are back at the prison after they were treated for injuries. One prisoner remains at the hospital for further observation," said Fuiavailili.

Tanumalala high security prison.

Tanumalala high security prison. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Tipi Autagavaia

He said the incident happened in a different cell from the one that staged the recent mass prison breakout.

That breakout resulted in Cabinet handing Samoa Police Service the reins of the country's prison system, and led to the resignation of Prisons and Corrections Services Commissioner Taitosaua Edward Winterstein.

Parliament will meet this week and is expected to pass new laws reverting back to the old practice of police managing the prison system.

A prison system that Fuiavailili said has "so many issues."

"As I said before, we are inheriting the prison and its many problems. Some explosive stuff going on at the prison."

Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil

Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The Minister of Police, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt has announced that a "Commissioners Delegate" has been appointed to oversee the operations at Tanumalala Prison.

He is police Superintendent Soloi Iosefa.