A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murder after a Church of Scientology member was stabbed to death yesterday outside the group’s Australian headquarters in Sydney.
Police allege that the victim, a 24-year-old Taiwanese national, was attempting to escort the teen out of the premises in Chatswood when he was stabbed with a 25cm kitchen knife.
A 30-year-old man was also injured in the attack, and was taken to the Royal North Shore hospital with minor injuries, but subsequently discharged.
It is understood that the teen was visiting the Scientology centre, where his mother was to undergo a “purification ceremony”, shortly prior to the incident.
Both victims were members of the church, and investigators are currently trying to establish why the alleged killer was asked to leave the premises before the attack.
Per an official NSW Police statement:
“Officers from North Shore Police Area Command, with the assistance of the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. Following inquiries, the 16-year-old was charged with murder, common assault (DV), common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray. He has been refused bail to appear at a Children’s Court today (Saturday 5 January 2019).”
A Scientology representative said in a statement:
“This very unfortunate matter is in the hands of the police. We cannot make any further comment beyond the fact that the victim was a beloved member of our Church. The Church is providing the police with any assistance needed in their investigation.”
The Church of Scientology opened its lavish Australian headquarters in Chatswood in 2016, at a ceremony that was attended by singer Kate Ceberano and global leader David Miscavige.
Source: NSW Police
Image: AAP / Mick Tsikas