Inheritance going to Australian killer's victims
December 23, 1996
Web posted at: 9:00 p.m. EST (0200 GMT)
HOBART, Australia (CNN) -- A fortune inherited by a gunman who killed 35 people will be used to compensate his victims, an Australian court ruled Monday.
Martin Bryant is serving 35 life terms since pleading guilty in November to killing 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, earlier this year. He was to inherit $1 million Australian (about $800,000 U.S.) from an elderly woman who had been his companion.
Instead, the money will be distributed to the families of his victims. In addition, the Australian government decided to forfeit its taxes on the inheritance.
The seizure was made possible by a new Tasmanian law that allows assets to be seized from criminals who caused significant harm to five or more people in a single unlawful event.
Correspondent John Raedler contributed to this report.
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