27th February 2013
If you would like to make a donation to help Jock, an account has been set up for this purpose.
Details for EFT:
Account name: R A Palfreeman
Account No: 10317939
If you would like to send a brief message with your donation, please identify the donation with your name and email email@example.com
If you do not have access to EFT, you can make out a cheque to R A Palfreeman and post to:
Jock Palfreeman Fund
PO Box 4036
GATESHEAD NSW 2290
Ongoing discussions between the Australian and Bulgarian Governments regarding the transfer of Jock to a prison in Australia have been stalled by the Bulgarian authorities. Despite repeated requests, the Bulgarians refuse to engage in the transfer negotiations (covered by an international treaty to which Bulgaria is a signatory) until Jock has paid the significant fines imposed by the courts.
In refusing to negotiate, the Bulgarians have cited a law allowing the Government to refuse a person permission to leave the country until any outstanding fines have been paid. Jock and his family believe strongly that this should not prevent the Bulgarians from negotiating all the terms of the transfer on the assumption that the fines will be paid once all the negotiations have been concluded and before Jock leaves the country.
It is interesting to note that this law no longer affects Bulgarian citizens as it was recently repealed as being unconstitutional. Currently there is an attempt to also change the law for foreigners. This makes the Bulgarian authorities’ continued refusal to negotiate with the Australian Government even more reprehensible.
Jock continues his efforts to improve conditions within the prison system, despite the prison authorities’ attempts to intimidate him. The intimidation includes refusing consularassisted visits at the last minute for Jock's grandparents (both in their eighties) and most recently, withdrawal of Jock’s access to the prison computer to continue his university studies, with no reason given.
Belinda Hawkins, an ABC journalist, has written a book, Every Parent’s Nightmare about the controversies surrounding Jock’s trial, which will be launched in Sydney and Melbourne, end February/early March 2013.
As it now seems likely that the Bulgarians will demand the payment of the fines before Jock is allowed to leave the country, Jock’s family and friends have started to accumulate the funds. Despite repeated requests, the Bulgarian Government has so far been unable to give an accurate figure for the amount owing (the fine plus interest, accruing since December 2007). The amount owing is estimated to be between $AUD 550,000 and 600,000.
Jock and his family would like to express heart-felt thanks to those who have donated money to help Jock in the past.