SYDNEY (JTA) — An alleged perpetrator of a brutal anti-Semitic attack in suburban Sydney pleaded not guilty.
Spartaco Marciano Di Bella, 23, appeared in court Tuesday and was charged with affray — fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace. His bail was continued until Jan. 13, when the magistrate ordered the next hearing.
Di Bella, who was on crutches, said he felt remorse for the victims, according to reports.
Five Orthodox Jews were attacked by a gang of youths on Oct. 26 as they walked home from a Sabbath dinner in Bondi. Four of the victims were members of the Behar family; the fifth was Shlomo BenHaiem, an emissary for the Jewish National Fund.
Australian Jewish officials described the assault as the worst anti-Semitic incident of its kind since records began being kept in 1989.
Another suspected member of the gang, Robert Clifford, 26, has pleaded not guilty and remains in custody. Clifford was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and having a knife in a public place.
Two 17-year-old males also were charged but cannot be named because they are minors.