Refugee-kicking camera operator indicted for “public misconduct”

September 7, 2016

Photo: Reuters/Marko Djurica
Photo: Reuters/Marko Djurica

The Szeged detectives office has indicted Petra László, the Hungarian camera operator accused of physically assaulting refugees as they attempted to cross the border into Hungary from Serbia last September, for public misconduct.

Working at the Hungarian border town of Röszke, the Jobbik-aligned N1TV camerawoman was captured on video tripping a man carrying a child, then kicking a little girl as a group of refugees hurried past her.  Although her actions were violent, prosecutors have only charged her with public misconduct on the grounds that there was no evidence she acted out of malice with intent to cause bodily harm, or that her actions were motivated by knowledge of her victims’ country of origin.

Last year László made a public statement of regret for the incident, but then initiated a lawsuit against a Syrian refugee who had accused her of kicking him to the ground. She told Russian newspaper Izvesztyija that she and her family would be emigrating to Russia because she does not feel safe at home in Hungary.

The Szeged court also investigated whether László’s actions warranted her being charged with committing a hate crime, but concluded that “information has not been forthcoming that show that the accused’s violent behavior could have been motivated by the origins of the victims as migrants.”