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Australian judge lifts court ban on X showing video of Sydney church stabbing

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — An Australian judge Monday lifted a ban on the social media platform X showing Australians a video of a bishop being stabbed in a Sydney church.

The temporary ban was put in place April 22, but the judge rejected the application from Australia’s eSafety Commission to extend the court order that would have expired Monday.

Australian Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Kennett said he would publish his reasons for imposing and lifting the order later.

The decision was a win for the company rebranded by billionaire Elon Musk when he bought Twitter l ast year. X was alone among social media platforms in refusing to remove video of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel being stabbed. Musk has argued that he is standing up for a freedom of speech principle. Australian lawmakers have accused him of arrogance and of lacking a sense of social responsibility.

“Not trying to win anything. I just don’t think we should be suppressing Australian’s rights to free speech,” Musk posted on X after the ruling.

X is also taking a separate court action against eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, a former Twitter employee, that challenges the validity of her notice requiring the platform to remove video of the April 15 attack in an Assyrian Orthodox church. The judge is expected to consider setting a hearing date Wednesday.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said the government might consider changing Australian law after reading Kennett’s reasons for removing his order that required X to hide the video from users. “There’s a fundamental principle at stake and that is, if you’re a company or anybody operating in Australia, then you’ve got to abide by Australian laws,” Jones said.

He also said the government supported Inman Grant’s