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An Australian, after 20 years in prison for killing her 4 children, pardoned thanks to a Spanish scientist

A happy ending 20 years late. This is how one could summarize the case of Kathleen Folbigg, an Australian sentenced to prison in 2003 for the death of her four children, and who has finally been pardoned by the New South Wales Attorney General, Michael Daley. And all thanks to an investigation led by the Spanish immunologist, Carola García Vinuesa, and which has served to present “reasonable doubts” about her guilt in the death of the children.

Folbigg, 55, known as “Australia’s worst serial killer”, was convicted of killing three of her children, and the manslaughter of her firstborn, between 1989 and 1999. The babies were between 19 days and 19 months. The defendant has always maintained her innocence, assuring that all her children died of natural causes and not after suffocating them, as prosecutors have maintained for two decades.

The review of this case has taken place after a scientific investigation, which began in May of last year, pointed to a possible genetic mutation that causes lethal arrhythmias. The key points of this new report signed by the Spanish scientist and which has led to the pardon decision include “the reasonable possibility” that three of the four children died of natural causes.

rare genetic mutation

Retired Judge Tom Bathurst, who led the new investigation, said medical conditions were found that could account for three of the deaths. Likewise, he specified that two girls have a rare genetic mutation while a boy would have had an “underlying neurogenic condition.” Given these factors, Bathurst determined that the death of the fourth child was also not suspicious, adding that he could not accept that “Folbigg was anything other than a loving mother to her children.”

Finally, the Australian Justice ended up surrendering to the evidence. “In the interest of justice, Kathleen Folbigg must be released from custody as soon as possible,” Daley said Monday. “I think we all have to put ourselves in Folbigg’s place and give her the space now that she needs to carry on with her life; not harass or chase her in any way. It’s been a 20-year ordeal for her. We wish her the best of her for the rest of her life, “said the attorney general, as reported by ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’.

The Australian Academy of Sciences, which assisted in the investigation, said it was “relieved” that justice was done for Folbigg. In 2021, dozens of scientists from Australia and abroad signed a petition calling for Folbigg’s release following new analyzes of the case.

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