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Hungarian camerawoman filmed 'kicking migrants' to face trial

Published 07/09/2016

The camerawoman was fired after the incident
The camerawoman was fired after the incident

The camerawoman who was filmed kicking and trying to trip migrants near the border with Serbia in September 2015 has been indicted for breaching the peace, Hungarian prosecutors said.

Petra Laszlo, who later apologised for her actions while also trying to justify them, was fired by the right-wing N1TV after footage of her actions went viral on social media.

Ms Laszlo said at the time that she panicked as refugees and migrants broke through police lines near her position and she felt under attack. She kicked a boy and a girl and later tried to trip a man carrying a boy.

Ms Laszlo later told Russian newspaper Izvestia that her life was "ruined" by the incidents which took place on September 8 2015, and she was considering moving to Russia.

Ms Laszlo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zsolt Kopasz, the chief prosecutor of Csongrad County, said in a statement that after a thorough investigation, it was determined that there was no "reasonable chance" for Ms Laszlo's actions "to cause injury".

"No data emerged which would have indicated that the conducts of the accused were motivated by ethnic considerations or by the migrant status of the victims," Kopasz said.

The man Ms Laszlo tried to trip, and who fell while trying to pull away from police at the border, was later identified as Osama Abdul Mohsen, a football coach from Syria. He and part of his family settled in Spain, where he was working for a Spanish club.

Last year, nearly 400,000 migrants and refugees passed through Hungary on their way west before Prime Minister Viktor Orban had fences protected by razor wire built on the border with Serbia and Croatia.

Together with other measures, such as allowing police to "escort" back to Serbia unregistered migrants found within five miles of the border, the fences have practically halted the migrant flow.

Ms Laszlo's trial will be held in the southern city of Szeged.

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