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Hungarian Camerawoman Convicted For Kicking Fleeing Migrants


Video footage appeared to show Laszlo kicking a young girl and a young man as migrants broke through police lines.

A Hungarian television camerawoman who grabbed headlines in 2015 by kicking fleeing migrants near the southern border with Serbia has been convicted of vandalism and sentenced to probation.

A court in the southern city of Szeged on January 12 found Petra Laszlo guilty of breaching public peace with her actions by triggering "indignation and outrage," sentencing her to three years' probation.

Laszlo was fired from her job at N1TV after video footage spread online in September 2015 appearing to show her kicking a young girl and a young man -- and later trying to trip a man carrying a boy -- as migrants broke through police lines.

Laszlo said at the time that she panicked and that she felt under attack during the incident outside the town of Roszke, near Hungary's border with Serbia.

The camerawoman later told the Russian newspaper Izvestia that her life was "ruined" and that she was considering moving to Russia.

Laszlo's lawyer said they would appeal the verdict, as did the prosecutor, who was seeking a stiff fine in the case.

More than 400,000 migrants traveled through Hungary in 2015 on their way to Western Europe, though those numbers have dropped dramatically since authorities sealed off the border.

Based on reporting by AFP, hvg.hu, AP, and Reuters
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