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General News of Friday, 3 May 2002


Prisons Director tours Ho prison in wake of jail break

The structural make-up of the Ho Prisons is being reviewed with the view to correcting any defects that facilitated the 26 April attempted jail break by four remand prisoners.

Intelligence gathering is also being stepped up to pre-empt such attempts. Mr Richard Kuurie, Director of Prisons, told journalists on Thursday after inspecting the prisons. He said in the interim, security had been tightened at the prisons according to regulations governing the management of prisons.

Mr Kuuire said the Prison Service was mindful of the upsurge of criminal activity, particularly armed robbery in the country and would not "want to be the lee way where efforts by the Police to contain the situation would be thwarted.

Mr Kuuire said criminals were being kept too long on remand at the prisons, saying that an early conviction or otherwise would enable the authorities to place them in the various prisons.

The Prisons Director said he would seek audience with Mr Paul Gyeasayor, the Supervising High Court Judge at Ho to forge a partnership between the courts and the prisons on ways to speed up the case of the 91 remand prisoners at the Ho Prisons, 18 of whom are on armed robbery charges.

Speaking on the situation of the four jail breakers, Mr Kuuire said investigations revealed that they had planned the escape over a period of time. He said some of the other inmates were privy to the plan but failed to report.

Asked if there had been other attempted jail breaks through the some point, Mr Kofi Bansa, Deputy Director of Prisons in charge of the Volta Region, said there had been a few but explained that attempted escapes could be expected from incarcerated criminals.

Meanwhile, Kobla Abraham, alias Bright, implicated by Dzifa Abusah, who was jailed three years in hard labour for the escape bid, is to be transferred to the Nsawam Prisons.

Mr Kuuire gave the directive when he was told that Abraham, even though was not one of the four who broke jail on that Friday had once attempted to escape while in hospital. Three of Abusah's accomplices in the jailbreak would re-appear in court on 2 May.