Monday, May 26, 2008


Report from channelnewsasia:

SINGAPORE: The superintendent of the Whitley Road Detention Centre has been sacked over security lapses that led to the escape of Jemaah Islamiyah detainee Mas Selamat Kastari. His deputy has been demoted, with a corresponding pay cut.

The two were the most senior officers in charge of the ground management of the detention centre, and were among six Internal Security Department (ISD) officers charged over the escape.

Two Gurkha officers were also charged and have been demoted after pleading guilty.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng disclosed this when he updated Parliament on the disciplinary action taken after Mas Selamat's escape.

Mas Selamat had escaped from a ventilation window in a toilet at the detention centre on February 27 and remains at large.

No grilles were mounted on the window. Mr Wong said the superintendent should have instructed the renovation contractor to install grilles on the ventilation window.

Instead, the superintendent asked for the handle of the window to be sawn off in the mistaken belief that it was a sufficient security measure. This, Mr Wong said, was a serious error.

The superintendent and his deputy have also been held accountable for the lack of supervision over the subordinate officers implicated in the escape.

Mr Wong said the ISD's command director, whom the superintendent reported to, has also been relieved of his duties on April 24.

Although the command director was neither directly nor indirectly linked to the lapses of specific officers down the line, and he was not at fault over the lapses, Mr Wong said he was formally the apex of the supervisory and management chain of command overseeing the detention centre. - CNA/ac

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