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Hungarian Camerawoman Who Kicked Syrian Refugees Is Charged

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 
Image: A Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she runs with other migrants
A Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she run with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary on September 9.AFP via Getty Images

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — 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 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.

Image: Osama Abdul Mohsen, carrying his son, Zaid
TV camerawoman Petra Laszlo tripping Osama Abdul Mohsen and his son, ZaidMARKO DJURICA / Reuters

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. She 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 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.

Related: Migrant Says Son Suffered Concussion After Camerawoman Trip

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 eight kilometers (five miles) of the border, the fences have practically halted the migrant flow.

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

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