Jock’s appeal now being prepared, but it may not be heard for 6 months!
Latest news: in late May the senior judge in Jock’s case finally provided his written report on the reasons for the guilty verdict last December. It’s in Bulgarian of course! Jock’s defence team can now apply for an appeal hearing, which may take 6 months to be heard. In the meantime Jock has been stuck in isolation since 19 February and remains locked in a small room 23 hours per day, although ironically prison overcrowding means he shares with another prisoner. He can receive mail (letters only, no books etc), and visitors if you happen to be in the area. See our previous reports on Jock here.
Jock Palfreeman is a 23 year old Australian who had the courage to stand up against 16 Nazis on a night out in Sofia, Bulgaria. He witnessed the fascists chasing and attacking two young Roma boys. Jock ran to the boys’ aid, he did his best to keep the Nazis at bay by waving a knife at them but they attacked him. Jock was left with nowhere to run and had no choice but to defend himself. Andrey Monov, one of the Nazis, was stabbed and killed and another, Antoan Zahariev was injured. The Roma boys ran away.
Jock has since been tried and sentenced for murder and attempted murder. He has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and has been fined 375,000 Australian dollars. Andey Monovs Father is well known in Bulgaria and at the funeral there were a mixture of judges, police and politicians.
Jocks trial was a complete sham – yet another example of corruption and secret hand shakes in the judicial system. The prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made by the other Nazis that were there that night, all claiming that Jock randomly attacked the group and chased them with the intent of killing somebody. Key people and possible witnesses were never interviewed by police and CCTV footage from the scene miraculously went missing and many of the statements made at the time were not the same as the statements submitted to the court by the prosecution. Jock has two appeals before his sentence becomes final.
We must campaign to free Jock and put pressure on Bulgarian authorities to accept his appeal. If his charges were downgraded to excessive use of force during self-defence, he would be already out. We must make sure that this judicial farce is highlighted and that they will not be able to repeat it again.
Check out the FREE JOCK website for more details of his case, trial and read his statement, which has remained consistent from the night in question. Bulgarian authorities want to bury Jock alive for daring to stand in the way of fascist bullies and defending himself and others. We have to stop them!
Some things you can do:
Write to Jock, letters help him survive this difficult time and keep his spirit high:
Jock Palfreeman, Sofia Central Prison, 21 General Stoletov Boulevard, Sofia 1309, Bulgaria
Organise solidarity actions outside Bulgarian embassies, consulates etc – use your creativity! See this list of Bulgarian embassies and consulates.
Write messages of protest to the Bulgarian authorities. Below is a sample letter, but you are welcome to write your own message.
Addresses to send your protests:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, 2, Aleksandar Zhendov Str., Sofia 1040, Bulgaria
Tel.: +359 2 948 2999
Ministry’s Reception Desk
Tel.: +359 2 948 2018 / 971 1054 (In work hours from 9.30 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 16.00)
Information, Public Relations and European Communication Directorate / Director: Sofia Vladimirova
Tel.: +359 2 971 1408 / 971 3778 / 948 2218
Fax: +359 2 870 3041
Ministry of Justice – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample letter (include a name and address for yourself, and avoid abuse as it wont help Jock’s case):
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to you about an Australian national Jock Palfreeman currently imprisoned in Bulgaria. Mr Palfreeman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for defending passers-by and later on himself from a vicious attack by a group of drunken football hooligans. As a result one of the attackers died and another got injured.
Despite it being a clear case of self-defence, and his version of events being supported by numerous witnesses, his trial was a farce. Anything working in favour of his defence was completely ignored by the judge. The prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made by the others in the group of attackers that were there that night, all claiming that Jock randomly attacked the group and chased them with the intent of killing somebody. Key people and possible witnesses were never interviewed by police, CCTV footage from the scene went missing and many of the statements made at the time were not the same as the statements submitted to the court by the prosecution. Jock is now waiting for an appeal.
I ask that the Bulgarian authorities grant him an appeal and that this time he is given a fair trial. These charges should at the very least be downgraded to excessive use of force during self-defence.
Yours faithfully etc