Second inmate complains of heavying

Saturday May 11, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

An inmate at the Arorangi Prison is alleging that his life has been threatened by people in high places in the Cook Islands.

 

He is the second inmate to speak out about intimidation behind bars, prompting Corrective Services to call for prisoners to report such threats so they can properly investigate.

Speaking on the basis of anonymity, the young man claims he has been threatened by a Member of Parliament and two prominent businessmen.

The inmate’s close family member reached out to Cook Islands News alleging one of the businessmen was plotting to have the prisoner killed.

It was sad, the family member said, that even before the remand inmate is proven guilty of any crime, he is being subjected to threat from a group of men.

The prisoner has been in jail for six months, awaiting trial. “I am voicing my opinion after six months of what has happened,” his family member said. “Firstly, bail being denied over the last six months as he remains in remand.”

The family member claims the MP has also publicly humiliated the family.

“No one can run away from their past! Your past will always follow you. That goes for everyone on this Island, no one is perfect and we all learn from our mistakes once given a chance.

“The result of this has led to threats against him with a visit from a well-known businessman on the island telling him about threats of having him killed.”

The family member said the threats have put the family on high alert and they fear for their safety.

It comes after an alleged offender, appearing in the High Court, told the judge he feared returning to prison after being assaulted by other prisoners. He was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder.

Corrective Services secretary Teokotai Joseph rejected the allegation. “The claim that a man was not treated well by inmates while in prison is incorrect,” he said. “There are procedures and processes in place in prison for these matters. This is not a norm in prison and not an ongoing matter.”

But in response to the new complaint, he promised to investigate if a complaint is laid. Should an inmate be threatened, he said, he or she should report it to prison management.

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