Prisoner temporarily released

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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OUT OF JAIL: Nazzario Chong Nee.

OUT OF JAIL: Nazzario Chong Nee.

Complaints have been raised by inmates at Tafaigata about the release of fellow prisoner, Nazzario Chong Nee under a ‘Warrant of Temporary Release.’ 

Chong Nee, a returned detainee from New Zealand who robbed the Vaitele Westpac Bank six years ago, was released after a request was made for him to support his pregnant wife who was granted parole in December 2015.

The Assistant Commissioner of Prison, Sagaga Galu Frost Sagaga said he was unaware exactly how long Mr Chong Nee has been out of prison, but said it is one of the matters that they need to look into because “it may be seen as unfair to others in prison”. 

And this is exactly what has happened; with several prisoners saying that his release is unfair because they claim he’s been out since last year.

However while the Assistant Commissioner of Prison, Sagaga Galu Frost said no Temporary Warrant is granted for more than one week, and it is usually just for several days, it can be extended upon request and for special reasons.  

But Mr Chong Nee will return to prison today, said Sagaga, adding that he had checked his Warrant.

As for the reason he was granted this release, “Mr Chong Nee’s wife was under stress and she was unwell due to her pregnancy and Mr Chong Nee was needed to support his wife.”

Sagaga said she had gone through a cesarean birth and their child was admitted to the hospital nursery  over health concerns. 

Sagaga said those are some of the conditions that they considered before agreeing that Mr Chong Nee should be released temporarily. 

The couple had applied for parole last year, but only Mrs Chong Nee was successful while Mr Chong Nee’s parole is being deferred for a decision to June this year.

The prisoners released with a Warrant of Temporary Release, have strict conditions set out for them. 

They are not allowed to be seen in public places, drive a car, nor to drink and take any drugs and to live at the place where they are allocated to stay. 

They are only allowed to be seen in public places, if there are any important things that they need to attend to like doctor’s appointments but they then must return home immediately. 

Sagaga said all the prisoners released by warrant are followed up to ensure that they adhere to the instructions that they were given. 

They also leave cell phone numbers at the office so their whereabouts can be checked.

Nazzario Chong Nee has been imprisoned for six years and two months for armed robbery, possession of narcotics and escaping from prison.  He was sentenced to prison back in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to the robbery of the Westpac Bank branch in the Vaitele industrial zone.  Chong Nee was deported from New Zealand years ago because of crimes he had committed there including trespassing, burglary, car theft and traffic offences. 

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