Senator cleared as teenager handed caution

Date: 
April, 2019
Country: 
Australia

An Australian senator acted in self-defence when he physically retaliated against a boy who had smashed an egg on the lawmaker's head, police have ruled.

Video of last month's clash involving Senator Fraser Anning went viral and sparked debate in Australia over who - if anyone - should face police action.

Police cautioned the 17-year-old boy, but said neither would face charges.

The incident happened after Mr Anning caused fury by blaming the New Zealand mosque attacks on Muslim migration.

Last week, the Senate censured Mr Anning for his comments which he made on the day that dozens of Muslims were killed by a gunman in Christchurch.

The egg incident happened in the wake of the controversy when the teenager, Will Connolly, walked up behind the senator during a televised press conference.

Mr Anning responded by hitting the teenager before the lawmaker's supporters tackled the boy to the ground and put him in a chokehold.

On April 9, authorities they had made a decision "not to charge" the senator.

"On assessment of all the circumstances, the 69-year-old's actions were treated as self-defence and there was no reasonable prospect of conviction," Victoria Police said in a statement.

The teenager had also avoided prosecution but would receive an "official caution", they added.

Police said they were still searching for one man who allegedly kicked the teenager repeatedly while he was pinned to the ground.

Source: BBC