Appeal of Sydney Man Jailed in Bulgaria Drags OnCrime | November 11, 2010, Thursday // 15:10| views
Jock Palfreeman. Photo by BGNES
Two Bulgarian witnesses took the stand on Thursday, the second day of the appeal hearing of a 23-year-old Australian man, sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder in Bulgaria.
The two men, both policemen, Antoan Zahariev and Petar Katsarov, were asked to explain why they had said one thing in their police statements and an entirely different thing in the trial.
Zahariev confirmed that during the brawl he just heard an exchange of words, but did not witness any physical brutality. In his police statement Zahariev said that a fight between friends of his and a group of unknown people erupted on the day and site of the murder.
The witness Katsarov explained that he witnessed "a scandal" between the defendant and a group of young people, but when he moved closer to see what is going on everything was over. The policeman said it was his colleagues who told him about a group of Roma people being at the site of the murder, but when he went there they were gone.
The next hearing has been scheduled for November 25.
The Sofia Appeals Court on October 21 moved the appeals hearing to November 11, and granted the defence's request to re-examine witnesses, including police officers and another man who was wounded in the incident. The court however refused to re-examine CCTV footage or forensic evidence.
Jock Palfreeman, 23, has been kept behind bars in a Bulgarian jail after being charged with murder after an alleged street brawl in the capital Sofia at the end of 2007.
According to Bulgarian prosecutors, who asked for life imprisonment for the defendant, Palfreeman was not provoked and did not act in self-defense, as he has claimed.
Palfreeman was also found guilty of attempted murder over the alleged stabbing of a 19-year-old man during the fight.
The Sydneysider has repeatedly denied both charges, saying he was trying to defend himself from being attacked by a group of men.
According to Jock's family, friends and supporters his verdict is a "hideous perversion of justice".
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