TWO Australian Aboriginal brothers who beat up white anglers searching for a fishing spot at an indigenous sacred site said they were defending their land under traditional law - and claimed they had no choice but to attack because otherwise they would receive retribution from the spirits.
The landmark case, which is being heard in Broome Magistrates Court, Western Australia, is expected to set a precedent over the extent of rights traditional owners have when protecting sites of significance on exclusive possession land under Native Title, The Australian said.
The Kimberley Land Council says the 2008 alleged assault took place in an area deemed "exclusive possession native title" near Bidyadanga.
The KLC, which is defending Lenny and John Hopiga, say this means the brothers had the right to exclude people from their land and use reasonable force to defend it against trespassers.
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