IT was one of Ned Kelly’s last wishes but almost 132 years after his death, nothing has been done to bring it any closer to reality.
The bushranger wanted his body returned to loved ones and he wanted a Christian burial.
But eight months after Kelly’s headless remains were identified by a team of doctors and scientists at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, the bushranger is yet to come home.
The institute remains the custodian of Kelly’s remains.
Wangaratta solicitor and Kelly researcher John Suta has called on Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark to speed the return of Ned’s remains to the North East.
Kelly’s mother, Ellen, is among Ned’s relatives buried at the Greta cemetery and Mr Suta said the delay in returning Ned’s remains had dragged on long enough.
Mr Suta said Kelly never received a fair trial and further delays in giving him a burial alongside his family members was a further slight on the bushranger and his descendants.
He said Kelly deserved to be laid to rest before next year, when the bicentennial of Sir Redmond Barry’s birth would be recognised.
He was the judge who presided over Kelly’s trial and many other high-profile cases in the Victorian colony.
Mr Suta said the Victorian Supreme Court was planning numerous ways of noting the occasion.
At present, there is a Sir Redmond Barry exhibition in the Supreme Court library.
“This is not withstanding that Ned’s remains have not been returned to his family by the government and its agencies for burial at the Greta cemetery where they belong,” Mr Suta said.
“I have done a lot of research into Ned Kelly and his life.
“I have carefully analysed his trial and the role that Sir Redmond Barry played in it.”
Mr Suta said Kelly acted in self-defence and was entitled to an acquittal.
“Sir Redmond Barry removed from the jury’s consideration the central issue to Ned’s defence,” Mr Suta said.
He said the jury was told by the judge: “I repeat that they were executive officers of the law and no person had any right to stop or question them”.
“On any analysis, it is trite to say that the charge by Sir Redmond Barry to the jury was biased and designed to ensure that Ned was convicted,” Mr Suta said.
“He ‘rode the prosecution case home’ in front of the jury. Barry chose to ignore the law.”
A spokesman for Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said the family’s wishes would be respected and the remains returned as soon as possible.