Foreign Minister Marise Payne has called on the Bulgarian government to allow Jock Palfreeman to return to Australia, expressing concern that the technicality keeping him in the county is outside its normal legal process.
The 32-year-old was sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder in 2009 and was granted parole in September, but was kept in immigration detention until October 15 and is barred from leaving Bulgaria.
Senator Payne said his release into the community is a positive step, but his family fears political interference could see him returned to prison.
The prosecutor-general of Bulgaria is seeking a review of the process behind the decision to release Palfreeman on parole, while a 2011 travel ban blocks him from leaving the country.
"While the parole decision itself cannot be appealed, the prosecutor general is questioning technicalities about the handling of the case," Senator Payne told parliament on Thursday.
"We understand that this is outside Bulgaria's normal legal process and we would be concerned if non-legal issues were seen to have an influence on this process."
The minister also told the Senate she had raised Palfreeman's case with her Bulgarian counterpart twice, and also with a European Union representative.
"I stress that we respect the independence of the Bulgarian court and wish it see make a decision according to the rule of law."
Australian consular official are in contact with Palfreeman and are providing him with the assistance needed for him to leave Bulgaria as soon as possible.
Australian Associated Press