Victoria’s worst mass killer has sprung a second bid to be transferred to Canberra jail in his quest for freedom after almost three decades behind bars.
Julian Knight is serving a life sentence for a 1987 Melbourne shooting rampage that left seven dead and 19 injured.
The Hoddle Street shooter had been eligible for parole in May until the Victorian government rushed through legislation severely restricting the circumstances in which the Adult Parole Board can grant Knight release.
Under the tough new laws, Knight must stay behind bars until he is dead or so incapacitated he is no longer a risk to the community.
Knight launched a challenge against the laws in the High Court, but has since abandoned the action.
He instead has asked the ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell and the Office of ACT Director of Public Prosecutions to reinstate charges against him in relation to the stabbing of a fellow Duntroon staff cadet at a Canberra nightclub less than three months before the deadly rampage.
The former Duntroon staff cadet has undertaken to plead guilty to the charges provided he is extradited from Victoria to the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
Once in Canberra, he could then reapply for parole free of the Victorian legislation.
Knight has also applied for a transfer to Canberra jail while he tries to sue the Commonwealth over alleged abuse he suffered as a cadet at Duntroon.
At the time of the shooting, Knight had been on bail from the ACT Magistrates Court after he stabbed a fellow staff cadet in the head at the Private Bin nightclub in May 1987.
Knight told police he had his nose broken in an earlier fight with the man, who had ordered he remained in barracks for the night.
He then knifed the man behind the ear before handing himself in to police minutes later.
Knight was charged with malicious wounding, assault, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm as a result of the incident.
The case was dropped in the mid-1990s.
Knight’s requests for an interstate transfer to the ACT have been denied by Victorian Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue.
But Knight believes a request for extradition by the ACT would force Mr O’Donohue to reconsider his position.
It is understood the ACT DPP is still considering the matter.
Mr Corbell says, with no charges against Knight in the ACT, there is no basis to consider his extradition to the capital.
“The decision whether to reinstate any former charges is a matter for the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions,” Mr Corbell said.
ACT Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury said he had received no application from his Victorian counterpart to transfer Knight to the AMC.
“The cross-jurisdictional legislation requirements mean that such an application must first be put to the relevant minister in the jurisdiction in which a detainee is held and then, if agreed by that minister, forwarded to the minister in the receiving jurisdiction for consideration,” Mr Rattenbury said.
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