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Man fears tribal curse after court stops payback

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 17 February 2004


The Northern Territory Supreme Court has restricted the bail conditions for a man who wants to undergo tribal punishment as payback for the death of his wife.

Jeremy Anthony, 23, wanted to return to his home at Lajamanu, south-west of Katherine, where community elders plan to spear him up to four times in each leg and beat him with nulla-nullas.

His wife died in her sleep last December, allegedly after Mr Anthony beat her.

The judge has allowed Anthony bail only on condition he live hundreds of kilometres away at Ngukurr so that the court is not seen to be facilitating traditional punishment.

The Chief Justice said there was a significant risk that such punishment could inflict grievous harm, and the courts cannot condone unlawful acts.

Anthony has expressed fear he may die from an Aboriginal curse if he is denied a traditional punishment.

Some of Anthony's family have fled Lajamanu in fear for their lives because of the unresolved tensions between the two families.


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