Crime & Justice

Case of Australian woman convicted of killing 4 children to be reviewed

Sydney, Australia, May 18 (EFE).- Australia will conduct a second inquiry into the case of Kathleen Folbigg, sentenced to prison in 2003 for killing her four children, after doubts arose about the cause of death, officials announced Wednesday.

New South Wales Attorney General Mark Speakman said in a statement that if retired chief justice Thomas Bathurst in charge of this second independent inquiry, believes there is “reasonable doubt” as to Kathleen Folbigg’s guilt, then he will refer the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal for “further consideration.”

Folbigg, sentenced in 2003 to 30 years in prison for the murder of three of her children and for the manslaughter of the fourth, has claimed her innocence and repeatedly and unsuccessfully appealed her conviction.

Folbigg’s lawyers argue that there is scientific evidence to show that the children, aged between 19 days and 18 months, died of natural or genetic causes between 1989 and 1999.

In March 2021, some 90 scientists, including experts in genetic disorders, signed a petition asking New South Wales governor Margaret Beazley to pardon and release the 54-year-old woman, saying there was strong evidence proving her innocence.

A scientific study published in the magazine Eurospace in 2019 also indicated that two of the Folbigg girls could have died due to a mutant gene, CALM2, that causes sudden cardiac death.

Speakman, who said “it would not be appropriate” for the governor to simply grant a pardon to Folbigg, stressed that only a “transparent, public and fair inquiry can provide a just resolution of the doubt or question raised by that new evidence.”

A judicial review of Folbigg’s conviction ordered in 2018 concluded a year later that Folbigg’s guilt was reinforced.

An appeal in March 2021 by Folbigg’s lawyers to have the findings of the judicial review overturned was quashed by the court. EFE


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