Court delays so Aborigines must wait to free souls in torment

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A High Court fight to stop tests on the 100-year-old remains of 17 Tasmanian Aborigines was deferred yesterday.

Lawyers for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, which was recently made administrator of the estates of the Aborigines, claim that they are "souls in torment" while their remains are subjected to the "sacrilege" of experimentation at the Natural History Museum.

That would stop only when they were buried according to Aboriginal custom.

They want a judge to quash the decision made by the museum's trustees to carry out tests, to prohibit the tests being carried out, and to declare that the centre is entitled to possess the remains.

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, in London, set out a timetable yesterday for a three-day hearing, to start on March 7.

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