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Murder Suspect Released From Prison By Mistake
An inquiry is under way after a man awaiting trial for murder was released from jail by mistake, despite protesting to prison officers that he was supposed to be on his way to court.
Martynas Kupstysj, 25, was waiting in line at Lincoln prison when prison staff handed over his belongings and informed him he was a free man.
Despite telling them that he was due in court with other inmates he was escorted outside and told he could leave.
A confused Mr Kupstysj spent the next few hours wandering around Lincoln city centre while prison officers who realised their mistake launched a frantic search for him.
Prison staff eventually spotted the inmate waiting at a bus stop outside the prison and he was taken back into custody.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed the prisoner had been freed by mistake.
"A prisoner from Lincoln was released in error on 8 August. The police were notified immediately and he was arrested within hours. An investigation by a senior governor has been launched," she said.
"We take public protection extremely seriously and this type of incident is a very rare but regrettable occurrence."
HMP Lincoln governor Peter Wright told the Lincolnshire Echo the mix-up was "a very grave matter".
"An independent investigation has been launched by the prison service," he said.
"This should not happen. I've made dramatic changes already. It was a fundamental breach of what we are here to do."
Lithuanian Mr Kupstysj is charged, along with his brother-in-law Andrus Giedraitis, with the murder of 24-year-old Latvian Ivans Zdanovics, whose body was found following a fire at his Lincolnshire home in January.
Mr Kupstysj's wife Sandra Giedraityte, 28, is charged with perverting the course of justice.
The men will now face a retrial early next year.