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Hungarian Camerawoman Indicted for 2015 Assault on Migrants

  • Associated Press

In this image taken from TV, a Hungarian camerawoman identified as Petra Laszlo, center left in blue, kicks out at a young migrant who had just crossed the border from Serbia near Roszke, Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015.

In this image taken from TV, a Hungarian camerawoman identified as Petra Laszlo, center left in blue, kicks out at a young migrant who had just crossed the border from Serbia near Roszke, Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015.

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

Petra Laszlo, who later apologized 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.

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.

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

FILE - Combination picture (L to R) shows a migrant carrying a child being tripped by TV camerawoman Petra Laszlo while trying to escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary, September 8, 2015.

FILE - Combination picture (L to R) shows a migrant carrying a child being tripped by TV camerawoman Petra Laszlo while trying to escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary, September 8, 2015.

Gabor Laszlo, the camerawoman's husband, said in an email that on the advice of their lawyer, they would have no comment until the court's verdict. The trial will be held in the southern city of Szeged.

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 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 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 soccer coach from Syria. He and part of his family settled in Spain, where he was working for a Spanish soccer 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 8 kilometers (5 miles) of the border, the fences have practically halted the migrant flow.

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