Australia

'This is a fight not only for Jock': Palfreeman fight becomes Bulgaria's fight

The 32-year-old Australian is now staying with friends in the Bulgarian capital. Source: AAP

Australian man Jock Palfreeman's fight for freedom in Bulgaria has become a symbol of the fight against corruption and abuse of power in the country.

As Jock Palfreeman waits to learn his future, his case has transformed into not only a fight for his freedom but one for Bulgarian justice, a civil rights lawyer says.

The 32-year-old Australian is in limbo for two months as the Supreme Court of Cassation examines an appeal court's decision to grant him parole.

He could end up back in prison where he's already spent 11 years for stabbing a Bulgarian law student in December 2007.

"This is a fight not only for Jock but also for Bulgarian justice," prominent civil rights lawyer Nikolay Hadjigenov told AAP.

It's a reality Mr Palfreeman says has transformed him from the "scum of the earth" to "some type of folk hero" in the eyes of the Bulgarian people.

"If I had got parole, was deported and came back to Australia, I would have left the same way I was for 12 years - scum of the earth, public enemy number one," Mr Palfreeman told AAP.

Jock Palfreeman speaks to journalists as he leaves migrants' detention centre in Busmantsi, Bulgaria on 15 October 2019.
Jock Palfreeman speaks to journalists as he leaves migrants' detention centre in Busmantsi, Bulgaria on 15 October 2019.
AP

"But now, me and my case have been turned into a symbol for fighting corruption and the abuse of power.

Mr Palfreeman has always maintained he acted in self-defence after he came to the aid of two gypsies he said were being assaulted by Andrei Monov - the son of a then-prominent politician - and his friends.

Mr Palfreeman says the prosecutor-general's push to have his case reopened has backfired with public opinion turned on its head.

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