Suspect in Australia anti-Semitic attack set free for lack of evidence

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The case against a Sydney man who was accused of participating in a brutal anti-Semitic attack was dismissed for lack of evidence.

The Sydney magistrate in the case against Robert Clifford, 26, said he could not be satisfied Clifford had committed the alleged offenses.

Clifford was charged with affray, assault and possessing a knife in the Oct. 26 attack on five Orthodox Jews as they walked home from a Sabbath dinner near Bondi Beach. One of the victims suffered minor cerebral hemorrhaging and was hospitalized for two days.

Clifford had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Weeks earlier, charges against another suspect in the attack, Spartaco Marciano Di Bella, 24, also were withdrawn because the director of public prosecutions deemed there was insufficient evidence that would lead to a conviction.

Two 17-year-old boys who were charged reportedly are in a facility for minors.

Jewish leaders at the time described the assault as the worst anti-Semitic incident of its kind since records started being kept in 1989.

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