It's amazing how soon things become old news while those who were the focus of that news are still having to deal with the fall out. In the case of Andrew Mallard we have a man who was wrongly convicted of murder and spent 12 years in prison before he was released. He understandably feels entitled to substantial compensation. The Western Australian State government has made him an ex gratia payment of $3.25 million and has not denied him the right to take legal action over his imprisonment. This figure apparently includes the $200,000 previously given to Mr Mallard.
The State Government has described the payment as a 'gift' to allow Mr Mallard to get on with his life. It does seem a rather strange 'gift' though because, according to newspaper reports, they have also said that if he receives a payout from his legal action against those involved in his conviction he will have to repay this money out of such a settlement. Isn't a gift something given freely with no strings attached? It is according to the dictionaries I have consulted.