By Humphrey Carter

FOUR Palma Prison wardens have been arrested on charges of alleged bribery, threatening superiors and carrying out favours for a small number of select inmates.

The chief Palma prosecutor revealed yesterday that the investigation into alleged illegal behaviour by the wardens was launched some months ago with the full support and cooperation of Palma prison chiefs.

The internal investigation was handled by Palma National Police and conducted inside the jail under maximum secrecy so not to alert the suspects
According to sources close to the case, the police and prison service have been investigating how an inmate managed to obtain possession of a mobile phone while being held in the maximum security wing and prohibited from having an y contact with the outside world to protect evidence in the case in which he was involved.

What is more, last month, the prison director received a box containing a pig's heart, an act which was interpreted as a direct threat to the prison chiefs.

On Wednesday, the National Police involved in the operation, with support from the Fraud Squad, decided to make their move and four prison wardens were arrested.

Yesterday afternoon, all four of the suspects remained in police custody in the National Police station and in solitary confinement.
According to police sources, it would appear that the gang of four were involved in an operation to discredit prison bosses.
But the big question police have is why?
The prison service has also opened a simultaneous investigation and, should the four be found to have accepted financial bribes in exchange for favours from inmates, they face automatic expulsion from the service.

No other members of the prison service in Palma are said to be involved and, while the two parallel investigations continue, the National Police and Prison Service are going to remain silent.


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