Give fugitives a fair chance

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 November, 2009, 12:00am

I am writing in response to the article '6,000 join hunt for prisoners on run after killing guard' (South China Morning Post, October 20). According to the report, four inmates - all serving life sentences - fled a prison in Inner Mongolia after killing a guard.

I think the prison break raises several questions. We all agree that nobody should break the law, and if they do, they have to go to prison. But were these four prison inmates mistreated by their guards? Were they innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted?

If they are caught, the central government should give them an opportunity to explain their actions. There should be a fair trial to convince the public that the guards and the court verdicts had nothing to do with the jailbreak.

In addition, why was there only one guard at the gate? Did he try his best to prevent the prisoners fleeing in a stolen taxi? The authorities should reflect on these issues.

In conclusion, I think the mainland courts should ensure fair trials by providing adequate defence for the accused.

Yannes Cheung Ka-yan, Our Lady of the Rosary College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Yannes. It's pure speculation on our part to try to figure out what was behind the breakout. There is a lot which needs to be mended in the mainland legal system. A clean and fair justice system is crucial to good governance. People need to be able to trust the law, not fear it. They also need to trust in the police and that also seems to be a problem.

Once again, though, I think this just shows us how lucky we are to live in a place like Hong Kong.

Susan, Editor