A prisoner notorious for running away from Tafa’igata Prison, Faigame Vaitoleau, has told his ordeal about a beating he and another prisoner, Lauititi Tualima, received recently at the prison.
Vaitoelau told the Samoa Observer he wants to tell their side of the story because a lot of people – including prisoners - are blaming him and Lauititi for tougher rules on prisoners qualifying for the weekend parole.
“It’s not our fault,” he said.
“People should know that we were beaten for no reason. They beat me up without any reason and I told them it was Lauititi who escaped but it didn’t stop them.”
Vaitoelau said the incident occurred a week before Mother’s day when Lauititi was recaptured.
“I was the first one they beat up, before they beat up Lauititi in his cell.”
He said there were five prisoners who beat him up in his cell and the others attacked Tualima.
“We were jumped and we got beaten quite badly. We are still recovering from the beating.”
Vaitoelau said they tried to file a complaint but were denied. He said their complaint would have implicated a prison officer, whose name is withheld. “I am still not happy because this prison officer was involved in beating me up in the office at Tafaigata,” he said.
“He held my hands down and beat me up in the office and then he threatened me with a knife.”
Asked why he was beaten, Vaitoelau said it was because he told another officer off for what he was doing.
“I was being assaulted without a reason,” he said.
Asked about Tualima’s condition, Vaitoelau said he is recovering from serious head injuries.
It was not possible to get a comment from the Spokesperson for Samoa Corrections Authority, Sagaga Galu Frost yesterday.