Congolese woman who was assaulted by a Greek Cypriot man in south Cyprus attacks the man in court

A Congolese woman who assaulted earlier this month by a Greek Cypriot man while holding her baby in her arms attacked the the perpetrator by the shirt when he entered the Larnaca court room on Wednesday.

It was his first day of trial and the 29-year-old Congolese woman yelled at him “because I am black, and you are white?”.

Officers immediately intervened and led the woman outside the court room where a handful of activists holding anti-racism banners had gathered in solidarity.

The 43-year-old man is standing trial for offences related to racist and violent behaviour, assault and causing actual bodily harm.

The defendant was arrested after he was filmed by an eyewitness hitting and kicking the 29-year-old Congolese woman who is an asylum seeker while she was on the ground holding her infant in her arms on July 13. The man also assaulted her brother who tried to intervene.

During a remand hearing, the court had heard that once the perpetrator realised the eyewitness was recording the assault, he grabbed an iron crowbar and threatened to kill her, as he did the 29-year-old.

In the widely condemned video, another man, who is also thought to be Greek Cypriot but younger than the suspect, is seen trying to stop him.

The defence attorney told the court that his client was assaulted on entering the courtroom and that he would proceed with a complaint to the police. He then filed a motion to adjourn the proceedings on the grounds of abuse and violation of the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, he said.

The prosecution objected.

The court set the date for the next hearing on August 5 for arguments in relation to the pre-trial issue raised by the defence. The defendant was released on bail.

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