A Hungarian television camerawoman who was filmed kicking and tripping up refugees fleeing from the police has been found guilty of “breaching the peace”.
A judge in Szeged, Hungary, said Petra Laszlo’s actions initiated “indignation and outrage”, and dismissed her defence lawyer’s argument that she was trying to defend herself.
The judge found her guilty and sentenced her to three years probation. If she does not re-offend during the probation period, the conviction will be dropped.
In the television footage which sparked global outrage, László was seen tripping up a Syrian man running with a child in his arms, and kicking another running child near the town of Roszke bordering Serbia.
It was later revealed that Laszlo, who was fired over her despicable actions, had been working for N1TV, an online television station which is sympathetic to Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party.
The incident in September 2015 occurred as hundreds of refugees broke through a police line at a collection point close to the Serbian border.
Laszlo said in court: “I turned and saw several hundred people charging toward me; it was quite incredibly frightening.”
Sporadically breaking into tears, she told the court in Budapest via video link that she had been subjected to a “hate campaign” since the incident.
She “terribly regretted” what happened at Roszke, and said that her life had been “derailed” by what happened.
Both the prosecutor, who wanted the maximum penalty of a hefty fine, and Laszlo’s defence lawyer who asked for acquittal, said they would appeal the verdict.
The Syrian man tripped up by László was later given a job by a Spanish football coaching school, while his son entered the pitch with footballing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo during a Real Madrid match.
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