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Chinese murder convict returned to prison

A convicted Chinese murderer, who allegedly fled a maximum Liberian prison after he and his brother were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2010 for killing a South African national, was returned to the Monrovia Central Prison Thursday, 18 June following his re-arrest over two months ago.

Assistant Montserrado County Attorney, A. Tamba Gboree, said he did not “want to take that route” of answering reporters on what may have led to convict Meng Wang’s alleged escape from the Monrovia Central Prison, but said his escape was an “unfortunate situation” because all mechanisms were in place “to protect the inmates.”

The Monrovia Central Prison and other prison facilities have over the years recorded a number of alleged prison breaks with major crime suspects particularly alleged armed robbers reported to have fled those facilities in numbers.

The Criminal Court “B” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia convicted and sentenced Mr. Wang and his brother Li Ma to life imprisonment in October 2010 at the end of a trial for allegedly murdering a South African national, Wesley Craig Demas, on Randall Street, Monrovia in September 2009.

Attorney Gboree said Liberia’s Supreme Court had affirmed the lower court’s judgement after an appeal; but convict Wang “unfortunately” escaped prison “sometimes in April” this year. He was re-arrested in Ganta, Nimba County in April and charged with “escape.”

“Unfortunately sometimes in April, they escaped and recently we were told that he was arrested at the Guinean border in Ganta,” he told reporters at the Temple of Justice minutes after police drove the convict away to the prison facility on charge of “escape” on Thursday, June 18.

In early July 2013, there was shocking report of another prison break at the Monrovia Central Prison when a Jordan Contingent of the UN Peacekeeping force was reported to have fired apparently to scare the fleeing inmates.

Residents claimed some 12 prisoners broke jail, but authorities at the Justice Ministry said at least seven inmates escaped out of eleven prisoners that broke jail.

That incident followed an earlier jail break in 2009 which Liberia’s Executive Mansion said was the “second largest at the Monrovia Central Prison in less than five months,” and put the number of escaped at “more than 30 prisoners.”

The Mansion had issued a release after President Sirleaf visited the prison compound on May 16, 2009, saying the Liberian leader was “disturbed by the incident and wanted a full scale investigation to establish the facts surrounding the jailbreak.”

The Mansion said in December [2008], more than 200 prisoners escaped from the Monrovia Central Prison, but most of the escapees during the December jailbreak were re-arrested by security forces. By Winston W. Parley - Editing by Jonathan Browne

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