Concerns raised over detained Australian

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne has raised concerns with her Bulgarian counterpart about the ongoing detention of Australian man Jock Palfreeman.

The prime minister called for quiet on Friday as consular officials worked behind the scenes to secure Palfreeman’s release.

Palfreeman was granted parole by Bulgarian authorities last week after serving more than 11 years behind bars for a fatal stabbing, but the 32-year-old has not yet been allowed to leave the country.

Senator Payne raised Palfreeman’s detention with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva at the United Nations on Friday.

“Given the parole decision, consular officials will continue engaging with the Bulgarian government on his situation and arrangements for his release,” Senator Payne told AAP.

Ms Zakharieva had earlier told a Bulgarian radio station she was too busy to meet Senator Payne.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was directly engaging with the Bulgarian government on the issue.

Palfreeman was sentenced to 20 years’ jail in 2009 for the fatal stabbing of law student Andrei Monov during a brawl in 2007.

His release on parole last week was met with outrage in Bulgaria.

It prompted the country’s powerful prosecutor-general to lodge an extraordinary petition to suspend Palfreeman’s parole and review the ruling from the Court of Appeals.

Palfreeman, who is being held in immigration detention, told the ABC his passport was ready but he still wasn’t allowed to leave the country.



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