Monday, November 30, 2009
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Sofia, Canberra, Athens, London
Jock Palfreeman is a 23 year old Australian currently in prison in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is undergoing trial on charges of murder and attempted murder after an encounter with a gang of 16 far-right football hooligans.
In December 2007, Jock witnessed the gang attacking two men of Roma ethnicity in Sofia. Jock went to the aid of the Roma men, putting himself in the middle of the attack. The Roma men were able to escape, but the gang continued their vicious attack on Jock. Following the fight, one member of the gang was killed and another injured.
Jock was refused bail, and has been in the infamous Sofia Central Prison for nearly two years awaiting a verdict. He will give his final plea on Wednesday, 2nd December 2009, and can expect a verdict on the 3rd December.
Jock’s trial has been repeatedly delayed due to witnesses, court officials and even members of the judging panel failing to attend scheduled court dates without notice. Three consecutive court dates were aborted after 30 minutes due to missing medical and technical experts.
More importantly, crucial evidence proving Jock’s innocence has been either carelessly or deliberately destroyed. For example, CCTV footage showing the gang’s assault on the Roma men and then on Jock was initially deleted due to police recklessness. When Jock’s defense was able to retrieve it using a computer expert, the entire computer mysteriously exploded destroying the footage, again in police “care”.
The stories of the gang members and other witnesses have been changed repeatedly since the initial statements. The gang members initially confirmed Jock’s version of events, but have since changed their statements to deny even the existence of the Roma men. They claim that Jock, a young Australian in a foreign country, simply attacked a gang of 16 men alone without a motive. Their initial statements have been blocked from court by the prosecutor. Initially, ten Bulgarian Police Officers supported Jock’s version of events. To date, eight of these have changed their stories to fit with the statements of the gang. Throughout the entire case, Jock’s statement has remained exactly the same.
On Monday, 30th November, a coordinated demonstration will be held in Sofia, Canberra, Athens and London. We will show the Bulgarian representatives that Jock’s case is being closely observed across the world, and that any outcome other than self-defence is a perversion of justice.
JOCK NEEDS OUR SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT!