Australian's Appeal Back in Bulgaria Court This WeekViews on BG | January 17, 2011, Monday // 10:32| views
Jock Palfreeman, 24, 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. Photo by BGNES
An Australian man 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 against his 20-year sentence is due to return to court on Wednesday, January 19, the Sofia News Agency, Novinite.com, reported.
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 was convicted in December 2009 of fatally stabbing one man and wounding another during a street brawl in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, in 2007.
Palfreeman, now 24, from Sydney, pleaded not guilty, claiming he acted in self-defence after intervening to prevent an attack on a group of Roma, or gypsies.
He has been in custody since the December 2007 incident.
Two more key witnesses' statements were re-examined earlier in December as part of the appeal trial, backing Palfreeman's claim about the attack on the Roma, Novinite reported.
One more witness, Alexander Donev, a friend of the victim, was heard on December 22 before the court was due to make a final ruling.
Mr Donev stood by his own original version, saying he could not recall the exact nature of the incident which occurred before Palfreeman intervened, Novinite reported.
Bulgarian prosecutors, who asked for life imprisonment, claim Palfreeman was not provoked and did not act in self defence, Novinite said.