THE author at the centre of a new row over the murder of Peter Falconio in Australia has hit back at his critics.
Dr Keith Allan Noble was condemned by people in Australia for offering a £25,000 reward for any evidence that the former Huddersfield backpacker was still alive.
Many condemned it as an “offensive” stunt to promote Dr Noble’s book about the bizarre murder case.
But he insisted it was a genuine offer and is part of his long-running campaign to prove that Bradley Murdoch, the man found guilty of killing Mr Falconio, was wrongly convicted.
Murdoch is serving more than 20 years in jail after being convicted in 2005.
It was in July 2001 that 28-year-old Mr Falconio was ambushed on the remote Stuart Highway in Australia’s Northern Territory.
He and his girlfriend, Joanne Lees, of Almondbury, were travelling around Australia in a camper van.
A court later heard how Miss Lees was bound and gagged by their attacker but managed to escape and hide in the bush. She hid for several hours before flagging down a lorry driver to seek help.
Mr Falconio was never seen again and his body has never been found.
Dr Noble, who now lives in Vienna, Austria, is adamant Murdoch should not have been convicted.
He said: “Alleged evidence to the trial was mishandled, corrupted and concocted.
“It was a show trial where not a shred of incontrovertible evidence was presented and Murdoch has been wrongly imprisoned.
“Peter Falconio needs to be found, dead or alive, so the truth associated with his disappearance can be accurately determined, not guessed, and justice delivered to Bradley John Murdoch and the Falconio family.”
The author has criticised the Mayor of Alice Springs, Damien Ryan, who attacked the reward posters offering cash.
He has also insisted that he does not want to make money out of the book on the case but simply wants to find the truth.