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File photo / Maputo Provincial Penitentiary, in Machava
The Mozambican police have confirmed that among the prison staff arrested on suspicion of helping an accused assassin escape from the Maputo Provincial Penitentiary in October is the prison director, Castigo Machaieie.
The spokesperson for the General Command of the police, Claudio Langa, told reporters on Tuesday that Machaieie and two other members of the prison management were among the nine people arrested in connection with the escape. But Langa declined to give any further details on the grounds that the matter is still under investigation.
The man who escaped, Abdul Tembe, is accused of driving the car used by the men who assassinated prominent prosecutor Marcelino Vilanculos on 11 April, in front of his home in the southern city of Maputo.
Vilanculo is believed to have been targeted because he was handling a number of sensitive cases, including the kidnapping of business people, and the subsequent demands for enormous ransoms, sometimes running into millions of US dollars.
Tembe escaped from prison on the night of 24 October. On that night a violent thunderstorm hit Maputo, and the noise of the storm might have made it easier for Tembe to cut through the bars in his cell window without being heard.
Shortly after the escape, Machaieie told reporters that Tembe had somehow acquired a sharp instrument to cut through the cell bars, and then slipped past the prison guards.Source: AIM