Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says claims made by two prisoners on the run about their innocence will have to be determined by a court of law.
He said police officers will not have any sympathy for the fugitives in their mission to recapture the escapees.
Griffith was speaking on CNC3’s Morning Brew on Monday on the issue.
“I am making it plain, very simple, I do not care. That is not my business, that is not my concern.
There’s a criminal justice system and the court would decide whether they are guilty or innocent…we will hunt them down and we will bring them to justice and we would let the court decide,” Griffith said.
“The fact of the matter is we have a criminal justice system…we should not be aiding and abetting, sympathising with a system to try to allude if persons feel they are innocent they should try to escape,” the Commissioner said, as he responded to social media posts.
In the video posted to social media over the weekend, one of the escapees, Olatungi Denbow, claimed they were framed by a female State witness and expressed concern the authorities are only concerned about was putting them “back in jail.” But Griffith assured this claim has no merit.
“Do not for a moment think that this situation is just based on one witness claiming that these individuals are guilty. There’s a certain DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) in this country. He is very meticulous. He would run me immediately if at any time there’s the perception that a case for murder is not airtight.”
He said when treating with cases of murder, the police must ensure due diligence as the DPP would not accept the case.
Giving another perspective, founder of Vision in Mission Wayne Chance said he agreed that the men needed to be recaptured but their pleas for justice must also be taken into consideration. He said the remand prison was overcrowded and those awaiting trial had to experience worse conditions than those convicted.
“What has to be taken into account here is that these escapees need to be brought back into custody. But according to the constitution (they are) innocent until proven guilty but... treated rather as guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
According to the latest figures from 2015 by the Ministry of the Attorney General And Legal Affairs, the remand prison is operating at 157 per cent its capacity, holding some 1,032 detainees despite only being designed to hold 655.
Reporter: Rishard Khan