Bulgarian prosecutors deny Australian request to transfer Palfreeman

Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office said on July 9 that it has denied a request to transfer Jock Palfreeman to Australia so that he can serve the remainder of his jail term there. Palfreeman is five years and 10 months into his 20-year imprisonment sentence, handed by Bulgarian courts for the murder of Andrei Monov in 2007.

Such a transfer was a legal possibility under international conventions, with the decision up to Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

During his incarceration, Palfreeman has repeatedly “committed gross violations” and has been sanctioned by prison authorities numerous times, the statement said.

“Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov has decided that given the minimal time served of the 20-year imprisonment sentence and given the convict’s above-mentioned behaviour, the goal of the punishment have not been achieved. For this reason, the transfer of Jock Palfreeman from Bulgaria to Australia has been rejected,” the prosecution said.

Palfreeman was convicted of stabbing Monov and attempted murder of Anton Zahariev, and was ordered to pay 50 000 leva compensation to Zahariev. The sentence was upheld upon several appeals in Bulgarian courts, although Palfreeman’s family has said in the past it was prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Palfreeman camp insist that he had acted to intervene when a large group of youths were attacking two Roma men. Palfreeman has said that he took out the knife as a deterrent, in an act of self-defence and has no memory of using it. His supporters include those who describe the incident as an “anti-racist” act and seek to portray Sofia as infested with skinhead neo-Nazis.

Those backing Palfreeman say that vital evidence, such as security camera recordings, has gone missing and they say that some witnesses have deliberately changed their evidence since proceedings began.

(Photo: Gabriel Hershman)



The Sofia Globe staff

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