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In 1933 a party of policemen set out from Darwin to question some Arnhem Land Aboriginal people over the deaths of five Japanese at Caledon Bay the previous year.

On the way, still 100 miles from Caledon Bay, the police passed near an encampment of an Aboriginal clan not connected to the incident. The police took the opportunity to enter the camp for the express purpose of raping the Aboriginal women there. They did so, but were interrupted in the very act by the returning Aboriginal husbands, brothers and sons.

A policeman was speared to death.

The much-respected Aboriginal leader, Dhakkiyer, openly stated he had thrown the lethal spear in defence of his wife, voluntarily travelled to Darwin to face trial and was sentenced to death. The patently absurd conviction resulted in popular protest in the Southern capitals of Melbourne and Sydney and the case was appealed to the High Court which overturned the verdict.

Dhakkiyer subsequently disappeared in police custody and was never seen again.

Dhakkiyer’s son, an eyewitness to the event where Dhakkiyer speared the policeman was still alive a few years ago.

It was common knowledge in Darwin in the 1930’s and until the 1950’s that Dhakkiyer had been shot by the police while in their custody and then dumped in Darwin Harbour.

But the truth of this matter has never been admitted.

The grotesque mistrial of Dhakkiyer is a judicial killing, by which I mean a deliberate attempt by the judge, Justice Wells and the legal system to murder Dhakkiyer by false conviction. Dhakkiyer’s reprieve by the High Court was then overturned by the Darwin police who completed the murder at first opportunity.

I would say that the unconfessed murder of Dhakkiyer and the concealment of his body warrants a Judicial Inquiry.

For the people of Arnhem Land, Dhakkiyer’s murder by the State and its agents is not considered a long-ago incident of regret or a rather superficial blemish on an otherwise exemplary record. In Blue Mud Bay Dhakkiyer’s murder is today’s news as they daily live in the pain of his murder and the irretrievable loss of his cultural knowledge which had not yet been passed on and they are still today actively seeking explanation, justification, justice.

Why should they not have it ?

Tony Abbott has in recent times called for a Judicial Inquiry into Julia Gillard’s association with corrupt union officials although he cannot even name the crime that she is supposed to have committed and although in any case the related events occurred before Gillard was an MP let alone Prime Minister. Abbott has also called for a Judical Inquiry into deaths from fires resulting from insulation installations under Kevin Rudd’s Pink Batts scheme.

Judical Inquiry this, Judicial Inquiry that.

Plainly Abbott is not at all concerned with justice, wrong-doing or otherwise in relation to these events. He’s just trying to destroy his political opponents by the machinery of the legal system, much in common with (In)Justice Wells who, unconcerned with justice or facts, simply desired to avenge the spearing of a white policeman.

Abbott is making much of his regular visits to Arnhem Land as he asserts concern for Aboriginal welfare and reconciliation by the mechanism of commercial development of Aboriginal lands. Forgive me if I think his concern is much more for the latter than the former.

Abbott actually opened his election campaign in Arnhem Land and promised the establishment of an Indigenous Advisory Council. During this visit Mr Abbott said:

it is very important that white fellas and black fellas open their hearts to one another

True.
Who could disagree ?

In the words of Dhakkiyer’s nephew:

I like to know about a story from you – your mouth, your heart, your feeling your way of looking at it

Dhakkiyer’s nephew, though, is talking about justice in regard to an unconfessed murder. Does Mr. Abbott’s open heart traverse the same landscape as Dhakkiyer’s relatives? Could that open heart extend to truth in the matter of judicial killings by the white State against Aboriginal persons ? Or is that just another matter of importance to merely a few people with not nearly the imperative of commerce ?

Hey look let’s not open old wounds, let the old dogs lie undisturbed in their sleep, it’s a can of worms, just forget it, move on, cant fix it now, its so long ago. But Julia Gillard 21 years ago living with a corrupt union official ? Oh yes, please proceed very important, necessary, justice must be served, its for the people.

Are Judicial Reviews merely a tool for personal advantage, to destroy one’s opponents in the service of personal ambition, to gain and maintain political power ? Such misuse of the judiciary is a hallmark of totalitarian states, as is the creation of citizen-informer networks such as those proposed by Abbott’s colleaugue, Scott Morrison.

Dhakkiyer was a leader of the Yolngu people. The Garma Festival in Arnhem Land, where Tony Abbott made his call for open hearts is a celebration of Yolngu culture and tradition. As Abbott made his call for open hearts he stood on the very footfalls of Dhakkiyer.

OK. Yes. Let’s have some Judicial Reviews.
Let’s see where your heart is

Where is he ? Who kill him ?
I like to know about a story from you – your mouth, your heart, your feeling your way of looking at it. I want to know. From you people.
Tell us the truth where you buried him.

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