Stefan Balafoutis, a Greek-Australian lawyer who was one of the hostages at Martin Place’s Lindt cafe in Sydney, Australia, managed to escape before police entered the building to bring the siege to an end.
Balafoutis was among the first five hostages who who fled the Martin Place cafe and notified the police of the situation. He has not made any statements yet.
Police has confirmed that the siege is over, however, three people have died, among them the 50-year-old gunman, Man Haron Monis. The gunman was known to police as a self-styled preacher of Islam on bail for an accessory to murder charge. Four others were injured during the police operation just after 2 am today, that ended a tragic night for the 15 hostages who were held captive for more than 16 hours.
Balafoutis, who was not hurt during the operation, has been practicing law since 1997, as an associate to Justice Lockhart, who was a Federal Court judge and President of the Australian Competition Tribunal at the time. He has also worked as a solicitor with Corrs Chambers Westgarth in their commercial litigation and trade practices groups before coming to the bar in 2002.