Cyprus Mail

Minister pledges action over prison escape

Nicosia central prison
Nicosia central prison

Action will be taken over the way a prisoner escaped jail, Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis said on Saturday.

He noted that at first glance, it seems there were security oversights. The police chief has asked for a report over the incident.

On Friday, a prisoner escaped the Nicosia central prisons by walking out the front door and was found two hours later.

He had returned from a court hearing in Larnaca and while waiting to be processed, blended in with a group of visitors and walked out. He had no help from the outside and appeared to take advantage of the moment, reports said.

It appears police officers were handing over at the time and apparently only noticed a prisoner was missing during the inmate count.

The prisoner, a Syrian national, reportedly has a problem with one of his legs and did not manage to get too far.

Hartsiotis was attending an event commending police officers in Limassol. He said media focuses more on the negatives of the force “rather than its successes”.

“In the past two days, police have achieved many successes. We have uncovered a significant number of arsons and arrested people accused of a significant number of thefts which took place in the past.”

The minister said he did not see the same coverage for the ‘successes.’ Police have come under increased criticism in the past few weeks amid a spat of apparent underworld wars, which have led to a number of businesses getting bombed and arson attacks.


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