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Aussie Jock Palfreeman in Bulgaria appeals
From: NewsCore - January 21, 2011 4:16AM
Bulgarian police officers escort Australian Jock Palfreeman as he arrives for his trial at Sofia City Court / AFP Source: AFP
AUSTRALIAN Jock Palfreeman and his family face an agonising 30-day wait for a Bulgarian court to hand down its decision in an appeal against his murder conviction.
Palfreeman's defense team has vowed to continue its fight if an appeal against a life sentence fails.
The parents of a man killed in a fight with Palfreeman in 2007 told the Sofia appeals court that it could be held responsible if it overturned the verdict and Palfreeman murdered again upon his release.
In his closing argument at the appeal Wednesday, Palfreeman told the court that his trial had been marked by "intrigue, rumors, myths and legends."
The 24-year-old was sentenced to 20 years in jail in December 2009 for fatally stabbing one man and wounding another during a street brawl in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
In court Wednesday, the parents of victim Andrei Monov, a 20-year-old law student, said that their lives had been ruined by their son's death.
Andrei's father Hristo Monov said the judges could be responsible for future murders by Palfreeman if they decided to overturn the verdict. He argued instead for the sentence to be increased to life without parole.
Palfreeman claims he acted in self-defense after intervening to prevent an attack on a group of gypsies.
During Wednesday's hearing, the prosecution painted Palfreeman as a professional British soldier who knew how to use a knife.
But his father Dr. Simon Palfreeman said his son had never been trained in how to use a knife and claimed the depiction of his son as a "sociopath" conflicted with the opinion of expert witnesses, who said he was non-violent and had a highly developed sense of justice.
He said the onus of proof had been on the prosecution to prove "hooliganism" was the sole motive for his son's actions. This, he said, they had failed to do.
Aussie makes Bulgaria corruption claim
January 18, 2011
A 24-year-old Australian convicted of murder in Bulgaria says there is more than enough evidence to back his claim of self defence, and the appeals court should overturn his 20-year sentence - unless it is corrupt.
Paul "Jock" Palfreeman issued a statement on Monday, two days before the final hearing of his appeal against his sentence, claiming the victim's family has used its political connections to corrupt the judicial process, the Sofia News Agency, Novinite.com, reported on Monday.
"If the appeal court is not corrupt, there is more than enough evidence to find that I acted in defence of a racial minority being assaulted due to the colour of their skin, then acting in defence of myself," Palfreeman said in the statement.
Palfreeman, from Sydney, said any deviation from this ruling would be "a display of corruption and disrespect for law, morals, society and justice".
Palfreeman was convicted in December 2009 of fatally stabbing one man and wounding another during a street brawl in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, in 2007.
He pleaded not guilty, claiming he acted in self defence after intervening to prevent an attack on a group of Roma, or gypsies.
Palfreeman said in his statement that the facts of his case had been harshly censored from the Bulgarian language public.
He claimed the family of the victim, Andrey Monov, had used its connections within the then-governing Bulgarian Socialist Party to corrupt the judicial process.
"The propaganda has been very good, with rumours that I stabbed people in the back, that contradict eye witnesses and the forensic report.
"Ironically the forensic report not only states that Andrey was stabbed face to face, but it also states that he was not stabbed with the knife I held. He was stabbed with a dagger, a type of knife I did not have," the statement said.
Palfreeman's appeal against his 20-year sentence is due to return to court on Wednesday, January 19.
The Bulgarian appeals court had adjourned the hearing in December to allow his father to testify.
Palfreeman's father, Dr Simon Palfreeman, had been unable to get to the court on December 22 due to bad weather in Europe.
Palfreeman has been in custody since the December 2007 incident.
Australian Paul Palfreeman appeals against jail term in Bulgaria
From: Herald Sun - January 18, 2011 12:00AM
AN AUSTRALIAN man who was sentenced to 20 years' jail in Bulgaria for murder will return to court this week for the final hearing in his appeal.
Paul "Jock" Palfreeman's appeal will return to court on Wednesday, novinite.com reported yesterday.
The Bulgarian appeals court had adjourned the hearing last month, to allow Palfreeman's father to give evidence.
Dr Simon Palfreeman had been unable to get to the court because of bad weather in Europe.
In December 2009, Paul Palfreeman was convicted of fatally stabbing one man and wounding another during a street brawl in the national capital, Sofia, in December 2007.
Palfreeman, now 24, from Sydney, pleaded not guilty, claiming he had acted in self-defence after intervening to prevent an attack on a group of Roma, or gypsies.
Prosecutors argue he did not act in self-defence.
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