Bulgaria releases Australian Jock Palfreeman from detention centre

Sofia: The Bulgarian government has released Australian Jock Palfreeman, who was convicted of murder in 2009, from an immigration detention centre more than three weeks after a court granted him parole, sparking a political controversy.

Palfreeman's parole angered nationalist politicians in Bulgaria prompting the chief prosecutor to ask for a review of the ruling by the country's highest court, which now has two months come up with a decision.

Jock Palfreeman speaks as he leaves immigration detention centre in Bulgaria on Tuesday.Credit:AP

Palfreeman was transferred from prison to an immigration detention centre after being granted parole in late September because authorities said he lacked valid identification documents.

Palfreeman said Australia had issued him an emergency passport long before his release on Tuesday, but no one at the immigration detention centre cared to ask him about it.

Bulgarian officials said they were only officially notified by Australia about the documents on Monday.

On Tuesday, police said they took Palfreeman's passport during a search of his room at the centre and only will give it back if or when he is allowed to leave Bulgaria.

His release followed an unprecedented statement by the head of Bulgaria's highest court urging the interior ministry to free Palfreeman immediately, saying his right to free movement was being breached.


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