Australia: sentenced for killing her children, a mother has been pardoned

After being convicted of the murder of her 4 children and spending 20 years in prison, Australian Kathleen Folbigg has just been pardoned. A counter-investigation established that her four children suffered, like their mother who has always maintained her innocence, from a neuro-genetic disorder.

Kathleen Folbigg was pardoned for the murder of her children. She has long been dubbed "Australia's worst serial killer". © Joel Carrett / AP

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With our correspondent in Sydney, Grégory Plesse

Long considered Australia's most prolific serial killer, Kathleen Folbigg has been free since Monday, June 5, and for the first time in 20 years. "This is an important moment for justice in this state [New South Wales]," said Sue Higginson, a member of the Green Party, who defended her cause.

While at this stage she has not yet been formally cleared of the murder of her four children, all of whom died before the age of 2 between 1989 and 1998, she was pardoned by the New South Wales Attorney General, finding that her guilt could no longer be established beyond reasonable doubt.

A genetic problem at the center of the case

Accused at the time by her ex-husband and members of her family, it was finally doctors who came to the rescue of this woman, demonstrating that her four children were carriers of genetic variants, causing cardiac arrhythmia in the first two and epileptic seizures in the last two.

It remains to be seen Kathleen Folbigg, who has always maintained her innocence, will file an appeal to have her conviction overturned, a process that could allow her to obtain several million dollars in damages.

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  • Australia
  • Justice
  • Criminality