Borce Ristevski’s bizarre burial plan quashed

 

Karen Ristevski will be saved from the indignity of having her killer husband buried by her side.

In a move to strip Borce Ristevski of his control over Ms Ristevski's final resting place, new Victorian laws are being introduced to block killers and serious criminals from overseeing their victim's grave or memorial.

Ms Ristevski's devastated family have been fighting to replace her bizarre his-and-hers headstone as well as prevent Mr Ristevski one day being buried in the couple's joint plot at Williamstown Cemetery.

Karen Ristevski.
Karen Ristevski.

In response, the Andrews Government will today move to retrospectively ensure anyone responsible for causing a death do not have the right to make decisions about their victim's resting place.

Ms Ristevski's aunt Patricia Gray last night welcomed the move by the state government.

"Hopefully we can move her to where her mum and dad are laid to rest," Ms Gray told the Herald Sun.

"That would be something she (Karen) and her parents would want."

Ms Ristevski's was laid to rest at Williamstown Cemetery in May 2016, with her grave featuring a double headstone - with one side remaining blank so that Borce Ristevski can later be interned in the plot.

Despite Mr Ristevski sensationally confessing to killing his wife in order to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter March 2019, he still retains control over her grave.

Ms Ristevski's family have pushed to have her headstone replaced, including details which bizarrely list her death as February 20, 2017 - the day hikers found her remains in Mount Macedon bushland - and not June 29, 2016, the day Mr Ristevski likely killed her.

The current headstone also describes Ms Ristevski's as a "Devoted Wife, Mother and Friend" but makes no reference to her brother Stephen Williams.

Karen Ristevski's grave at Williamstown cemetery Picture: Nicole Garmston
Karen Ristevski's grave at Williamstown cemetery Picture: Nicole Garmston

In responding to concerns raised by Karen Ristevski's family Health Minister Martin Foley, who oversees Victorian cemeteries, said new laws would protect the rights of victims and their families.

"No one should have the right to make decisions about the grave or memorial of the person they killed," Mr Foley said.

"These changes will ensure victims' families are protected from further harm or distress by giving them the choice about how their loved one is remembered.

Under legislation to be introduced to state parliament on Tuesday, the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act will be amended to ensure offenders or the person responsible for causing a death do not have the right to make decisions about their victim's grave or memorial.

Backdated to cover all indictable offences recorded since July 2005 - as well as findings from a coroners court - the laws will hand control of memorials to the families of those who died due to murder-suicide.

The laws will give the Department of Health secretary power to override the right of interment over burial agreements signed with Victorian cemeteries following an offence.

 

Originally published as Borce Ristevski's bizarre burial plan quashed

Borce Ristevski will no longer be able to be buried at the same gravesite. Picture: Nicole Garmston
Borce Ristevski will no longer be able to be buried at the same gravesite. Picture: Nicole Garmston