“Today’s decision strengthens our resolve”
Disappointingly, the Court of Appeal in NSW has announced that it found there was no legal error in the inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s conviction, led by former judge the Hon R O Blanch AM QC in 2019.
The inquiry sought to establish whether there was a reasonable doubt as to Kathleen Folbigg’s guilt.
Despite the finding, Kathleen’s supporters remain steadfast in their commitment to fight for her to be pardoned.
“This was a civil proceeding, quite separate from the pardon petition signed by 90 scientists,” said Kathleen’s friend Tracy Chapman.
The inquiry heard scientific evidence of research undertaken since the convictions, connecting a genetic abnormality common to Kathleen and her two girls with cardiac conditions.
According to the Court: “Neither this nor other medical evidence was found to have raised a reasonable doubt as to guilt. The Court was not entitled to reassess the findings of fact made by the former judge. Its role was confined to determining if there had been legal error. The Court held that the former judge had applied the correct legal test to the evidence and followed fair procedures in holding hearings and preparing his 500 page report.”
Tracy released a statement saying: “We’re content that we respectfully challenged the system – as is our legal right. You don’t always win in the manner you expect. There’s a lot of value in learning from the experience, whether you win or lose. You have to give it a go, or the system isn’t being utilised effectively.
“Today wasn’t our day to successfully take Judge Blanch to task in relation to the way he conducted the 2019 inquiry and his findings, but it has got many more people looking at this important case now than ever before, and many more people are starting to ask valuable questions about how we got here.
“Many international eyes are now on this case and certainly, many more Australian’s are rightly asking why Kath’s still in prison after 18 years when there’s mounting scientific evidence relating to her innocence.
“Today’s decision went against Kath, but it only strengthens our resolve to keep going until the truth is self evident. We will never give up.”
As the BBC noted recently: “If Folbigg is freed and her convictions are overturned, her ordeal will be seen as the worst miscarriage of justice in Australia’s history – worse even than the case of Lindy Chamberlain, who served three years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murdering her baby, Azaria, at Uluru.”
“The science in this case is compelling and cannot be ignored,” said human geneticist and researcher Professor Jozef Gecz.
Child and public health researcher Professor Fiona Stanley added: “It is deeply concerning that medical and scientific evidence has been ignored, in preference of circumstantial evidence. We now have an alternative explanation for the death of the Folbigg children.”
Our fight for justice continues and the scientific evidence to support our case continues to grow.