Jamie Koeleman may remain in jail months or even years before a decision is made on his petition for mercy.

Koeleman has served more than a decade for the murder of gay businessman Francis Barry Arnoldt, who was found stabbed to death in a Brunswick park in 1991.

His petition for mercy is now with the state’s Department of Justice. Although the Department won’t comment on how long they expect the petition review to take, it could be months before all the evidence provided is considered and checked.

Businessman Frits Maaten, who published the book Justice for Jamie in 2007, was subsequently invited by Attorney-General Rob Hulls to submit the petition for mercy.

Last month, Maaten revealed to Southern Star a new pathology report supporting some of those theories included in his book.

The lawyer who worked pro bono on the petition, Paul Natoli said he hopes the case will be resolved before the end of the year.

-œThere’s a lot of merit in the case, it raises a lot of questions … I’m not certain on how the government’s going to see it but it certainly raises some serious doubt on the strength of the conviction, Natoli said.

-œThey may need more evidence and independent verification which will take time again, but I can’t be certain how long it will take.

-œI would think that if the government was given evidence a person in incarceration may be innocent, they would deal with it sooner rather than later.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s office said the case was complex and the petition for mercy process long.

-œThe Department of Justice will carefully consider the forensic pathologist’s report in conjunction with the other material provided by the petitioner in preparing advice for the Attorney-General in relation to this matter, she said.

-œPetitions for mercy can be lengthy especially in complex cases such as Mr Koeleman’s. There is no timeline for the petition process.

Once a decision has been reached the department will advise the Attorney-General on options to move forward, including recommending to the Premier, and thus Governor, that Koeleman be granted a pardon, or remit or respite of sentence.

The case could also be reheard by the Court of Appeal or go to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court for advice.

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