National

Palfreeman speaks with Bulgarian minister

By AAP Newswire

Jock Palfreeman has met with Bulgaria's justice minister, continuing his fight for prisoners' rights amid concerns the Australian could himself return to prison.

The 33-year-old Sydney man met with Danail Kirilov at the justice ministry in Sofia on Friday as a representative of the Bulgarian Prisoners' Association for Rehabilitation.

Palfreeman, who launched the defacto union in 2012, was invited by the minister to discuss prison problems.

"Of course I was happy because I have been lobbying for communication between our union and the ministry for two years," Palfreeman told AAP on Monday.

"We had good communication with the last government and then it disappeared."

The pair agreed to hold regular meetings while Palfreeman will also prepare "analytical materials" to improve conditions in detention facilities, the ministry said.

"Every minute of every day, people suffer in prisons," he wrote in Bulgarian on Facebook on Sunday. "Prisoners need a voice."

Palfreeman served 11 years behind bars in Sofia after being found guilty of murder and attempted murder for stabbing two Bulgarian youths during a street melee in 2007.

He's always maintained he acted in self-defence.

A Bulgarian judge last week warned Palfreeman could be returned to prison despite being granted parole earlier this year.

"The fear that Jock will be returned to prison is real," Sofia City Court Judge Emil Dechev told AAP on Friday.

The country's highest court on October 7 heard an extraordinary appeal to have Palfreeman returned to jail and his case reopened.

A decision was meant to be reached within two months but with the time limit elapsing on Monday, there's no word yet from the Supreme Court of Cassation.

"Radio silence is the norm," Palfreeman told AAP.

That could spell bad news for him, according to Judge Dechev, who was one of more than 300 Bulgarian judges who signed a petition defending the appellate court's decision to grant Palfreeman parole in September.

He says the panel of three judges who granted parole has since been threatened with disciplinary action.

Judge Dechev argues the appeal - launched by Bulgaria's powerful prosecutor-general - is considered by local lawyers to be inadmissible under the criminal procedure code.

"(But) if the Supreme Court of Cassation will pronounce on the merits of the request, then the probability to renew the case for granting parole is real, and he (Palfreeman) could be sent back to prison," he said last week.