Manus Island police say they are poised to charge several men with the murder of Reza Barati, the asylum seeker killed in a violent confrontation at the island's immigration detention centre.
'Saddam Hussein didn't treat us as badly'
Anger mixed with grief as the family of asylum seeker Reza Barati, who died on Manus island in Australian custody, mourn their loved one.
Yet despite concerns about continuing tensions in the centre, at least some of the suspects in Mr Barati's death are believed to still be working at the facility, along with many other staff thought to have taken part in the violence.
The revelations came as further claims emerged about the violent clashes, including how desperate asylum seekers tried to tie bed sheets to the door handles in their rooms to keep their attackers out.
In an account of the violence obtained by Fairfax Media, an Iranian asylum seeker said two detainees were blinded, one had his eye ''removed'' and one machete attack victim was ''cut so badly all around his neck like they meant to cut his head off''.
Manus Island provincial police commander Alex N'Drasal said on Thursday that he hoped soon to arrest three to four men and charge them with murder. ''Hopefully either this week or early next week, we are going to make arrests,'' he said. ''We are looking at three to four guys to be arrested and charged. We'll probably charge them with murder.''
He declined to say who the men were, including whether they were locals or foreigners, or whether they were local staff at the centre.
Mr N'Drasal said he believed most local staff were back at work, including security staff - a direct contradiction of statements made by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Asked whether this included the three to four suspects, Mr N'Drasal said he was not certain but added: ''I believe they are still there working.''
He said he had given instructions that none of the detention centre staff should leave Manus Island while the police investigation was running and therefore it was proper that they should continue working.
Mr Morrison said through his spokeswoman: ''I am advised there are no locally engaged staff deployed as security officers within any of the compounds.''
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said letting workers who were involved in the violence back into the centre was a ''recipe for disaster''.
A recording of the Iranian detainee's statement - made on Tuesday - along with an English translation, described disturbing new details about the incident. The material was provided to Fairfax Media by Senator Hanson-Young and by a second, independent source.
The detainee said other detainees saw the alleged killer ''a few days ago behind the external fence making gestures that we will cut your throat and kill you''.
He said machetes and guns had been used in the clashes and that ''people were attacked in their beds and their heads were cut open'', leaving ''blood on closets, pillows and walls''.
He told of one detainee who was being carried to safety by an Australian guard when he was hit on the head with a wooden pole by a PNG guard.
''As he lifted his head up to look, the PNG guard recognised him as a friend who had been giving him his cigarettes every day. He was shocked and said, 'Sorry, sorry, my friend.' This story has become one of the jokes currently in the camp - 'Sorry, sorry, my friend'.''
Senator Hanson-Young said: ''It's clear from seeing this conversation that [inside the camp] the refugees' safety simply cannot be guaranteed.''
She said the only ''decent and humane'' thing to do was to bring the detainees to Australia.
With Michael Gordon and Rory Callinan