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NT follows SA lead in bid to find Falconio's body

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In a move targeting convicted killer Bradley John Murdoch, the Northern Territory is moving to create a “no body, no parole” law.

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Murdoch was convicted in 2005 over the 2001 murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio in the central Australian desert, but the body has never been found.

Attorney-General John Elferink announced on Thursday that the NT would seek to replicate legislation that had been passed in South Australia, which means people convicted of murder will never be entitled to parole unless they reveal the whereabouts of their victim’s body.

“Society expects a person convicted of murder to be contrite for their crimes, and a person who refuses to show that contrition by giving the family an opportunity at least to bury their loved one is not a person who’s contrite, is not a person who even acknowledges frankly that they’ve committed a crime,” Elferink told ABC local radio.

“If you’re not going to be contrite we don’t want you walking amongst us as a society, you won’t get parole.”

Elferink said that as far as he’s aware, Murdoch is currently the only NT prisoner to whom the law would apply, and that he won’t be eligible for parole for about 15 years.

But what if a person convicted of murder is not guilty and doesn’t know where the body is, he was asked.

“Of course he’s guilty, because a court has said so and said so beyond reasonable doubt, that’s not an issue here,” he replied.

Elferink said there was a high level of public support for the law in South Australia “because it’s sort of self-evident to anyone who is a reasonable human being that this makes sense”.

He said he had the support of his Country Liberals cabinet colleagues for the amendment to the Parole of Prisoners Act and that if it was passed through cabinet it could be before parliament “reasonably quickly”.

AAP

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