Manhunt banned

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Controversial computer game, Manhunt, has been refused classification and banned in Australia by the Federal Office of Film, Literature and Classification (OFLC).

Controversial computer game, Manhunt, has been refused classification and banned in Australia by the Federal Office of Film, Literature and Classification (OFLC).

In a statement issued today, the office said the game "cannot be legally sold, hired, displayed for sale or hire, demonstrated or advertised in Australia and should be immediately removed from the shelves."

The game was originally released on 28 November last year when UK-based newspapers - the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail - reported that it had been linked to the violent murder of a teenager in the UK. It was reported that the assailant was obsessed with the game, but police revealed a few days later that a copy had been found at the victim's house.

As a result, the game was pulled from major retailers in the UK; in Australia, Western Australian Minister for Justice, Michelle Roberts, put forward a request to the OFLC for reclassification of the MA15+ rated game.

On 29 September, the decision was made to reclassify Manhunt to Refused Classification, which meant a complete ban on the sales, hire, distribution and promotion of Manhunt in Australia.

Retailers that are caught selling or hiring the title face hefty fines. In NSW, individuals could face fines of $11,000 or 12 months jail, while in Victoria fines are as high as $24,000 or 24 months imprisonment. Retailers have been advised that all advertising for Manhunt be withdrawn. The game's publisher and distributor Take 2 Interactive declined to comment on the ban.

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