Sydney: Dominic Perrottet, Premier of Australia’s New South Wales (NSW), on Tuesday announced that offenders in the state who refuse to provide information on the location of their victims’ remains will be ineligible for parole under new laws.
Perrottet said that the government’s proposed bill would mean criminals must cooperate with investigators and disclose the location of remains for any chance of release on parole, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Being unable to locate a loved one’s body is extremely distressing and traumatic for the families and friends of victims and it denies a victim the dignity of being laid to rest appropriately.
“These laws are to stop inmates convicted of murder or homicide offenses from getting parole unless they cooperate with police to end the torment of families and return to them the remains of their loved ones,” he added.
The law, which is still under proposal, will mean the State Parole Authority is obliged to refuse parole unless it receives written advice from the Commissioner of NSW Police Force as well as other relevant information to determine whether the offender has cooperated satisfactorily to identify a victim’s location.
The change in law is receiving much attention as it followed the high-profile case of Chris Dawson, who was convicted last month of murdering his wife, Lynette, over 40 years ago, with the body never found.
Corrections minister Geoffrey Lee said the reforms are modelled on laws in other jurisdictions and would apply to all current and future inmates in NSW to capture convicted offenders who have not yet been considered for parole.
“Any offender in prison coming up for parole should really think hard about maintaining their refusal to cooperate with police if they want to retain their prospects of getting parole,” Lee said.