17 Apr 2024

Prominent defamation lawyer Sue Chrysanthou to represent Benjamin Cohen in Network Seven Bondi Junction stabbing misidentification

3:52 pm on 17 April 2024

By Millie Roberts and Sam Nichols, ABC News

Sydney university student Benjamin Cohen was falsely accused of the Bondi Junction stabbings.

Benjamin Cohen. Photo: Supplied/Facebook

The man falsely accused by Channel 7 News as the perpetrator behind the Bondi Junction stabbing that left six people dead over the weekend, will pursue legal action against the network.

University student Benjamin Cohen sought representation by prominent barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC, who has previously counselled Heston Russell, Christian Porter and Lisa Wilkinson.

His solicitor is defamation lawyer Patrick George from Giles George law firm, who will also seek damages on his behalf.

"We have issued the concerns notice to Channel 7 today," George told ABC News.

An ABC investigation found the wrong identification initially occurred online on Saturday afternoon.

It was amplified by a number of accounts on X (formerly known as Twitter) in the hours that followed the attack over the weekend.

By 6.15am the next day, Channel 7 News had named Cohen as the "40-year-old lone wolf attacker".

NSW Police have identified Queensland man Joel Cauchi as the attacker who stabbed multiple people at Sydney's Westfield Bondi Junction on 13 April, 2024.

Joel Cauchi. Photo: Supplied / Facebook

NSW Police later identified the perpetrator as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi, who was fatally shot by an officer inside Bondi Junction Westfield.

Cauchi recently came to Sydney from Queensland and authorities are profiling him as part of their investigation.

Cohen previously told the ABC it was "extremely disappointing to see thousands of people mindlessly propagating misinformation without even the slightest thought put to fact-checking or real-life consequences".

The network has 28 days to respond to the defamation claim.

- This story was originally published by the ABC

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