A Hungarian TV journalist who was caught on camera tripping up a refugee who was carrying his child in his arms has been acquitted by the country’s supreme court.
Footage, which went viral, also showed Petra László kicking a fleeing child in a separate incident as refugees ran from police during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary in 2015.
Her actions made headlines around the world and she was sacked from her job at TV channel N1TV, which is close to Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party.
“The video reporter was acquitted owing to the lack of a violation,” a court statement said after judges ruled that Laszlo had not been correctly charged by lower courts.
Hungary’s supreme court said it considered the context of “an assault by several hundred migrants fleeing a police intervention”.
The court said that Laszlo’s act “while morally incorrect and illicit, was a disruption, not vandalism”.
The court’s decision turns over that of lower courts who sentenced her in January 2017 to a three-year probation for vandalism.
In explaining her actions, László said: “I turned and saw several hundred people charging toward me, it was quite incredibly frightening.”
In an open letter soon after the incident, she said she was “truly sorry” and that she was not a “heartless, racist children-kicking camerawoman”.
The Syrian father, Osama Abdul Mohsen, who she tripped obtained asylum in Spain with his sons, where he landed a job with a football coaching school, having previously worked as an official in the Foutowa club in Deir Al-Zour in Syria.
In the footage, the 52-year-old was carrying his small son Zaid, who can be seen crying, when Laszlo was filmed tripping him, causing him to fall heavily on the boy.
His son was asked to be a mascot for Real Madrid soon after his arrival in Spain. When he ran with Cristiano Ronaldo onto the pitch, he was greeted with deafening applause.