Why teen arrested after Sydney bishop’s stabbing has not been charged


An attack on a controversial Christian leader caught on livestream video from a southwest Sydney church has yet to result in any charges, with the alleged attacker remaining in hospital under police guard.

Assyrian Christian Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly stabbed multiple times at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley on Monday evening before attendees rushed to restrain his attacker.

The 53-year-old bishop, as well as a 16-year-old boy who was arrested in relation to the incident, were rushed to hospital.

The juvenile had surgery for a severed finger and faces possible further procedures on his hand.

The boy remains under police guard and NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley revealed to Sky that counter-terrorism police brought in for the investigation had yet to speak to him.

The minister said “conversations … have yet to take place” with the 16-year-old while police investigators awaited his release by medical staff after his treatment, which was in line with “standard procedure”.

Upon his release, Ms Catley said investigators would begin the lengthy process of interviewing him, examining his life and any sign of “radicalisation or related interactions”, with charges expected to follow.

If police do ultimately lay charges, the boy’s identity – details of which, including his religion, have been kept secret – will not be published, according to state criminal laws protecting underage offenders.

It comes as others face charges over the aftermath of the attack, during which police faced off against a large and violent mob who gathered outside the church and in the suburban streets.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb, who earlier said the stabbing was terror-related, hinted on Wednesday that action against the rioters could start as early as the same day after officers swept the church grounds.

Speaking with ABC Radio National, Ms Webb said: “When I was at the police station yesterday they had some clear indications of who some of those individuals were and they can expect a knock at the door.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns and Heath Minister Ryan Park were also quick to condemn the rioters, some of whom were caught on video jumping on the roof of police cars and smashing windscreens.

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