Greek Cypriot man who assaulted a Congolese woman holding her infant pleads not guilty to racist attack

A Greek Cypriot man who was recorded assaulting a Congolese woman holding her infant last month in Larnaca, on Monday pleaded not guilty to the ten charges.

Meanwhile, the court rejected the defence’s pretrial objection that his client’s right to a fair trial was violated after public statements were made about the case that included state officials.

This had also been objected to by the prosecution lawyer, Anna Yiallourou who said this should be examined during the main trial, since the court does not yet have the facts of the case.

The next hearing was set for September 21.

Until then, the defendant, who is facing ten charges, of whom four are related to racism and xenophobia, assault causing actual bodily harm, and possession of an offensive instrument, will remain free on bond.

The 43-year-old man was arrested a day after he was filmed by an eyewitness hitting and kicking a 29-year-old asylum seeker from Congo who was on the ground holding her infant in her arms near Larnaca port on July 13. He was also seen assaulting her brother. The eyewitness claimed the man had threatened to kill her, as he did the 29-year-old.

The incident was widely condemned as a racist and sexist attack.

Court proceedings were expected to start on July 27 but were adjourned after his alleged victim, a 29-year-old asylum-seeker, accosted him in court.

According to report, as soon as the 29-year-old victim saw the perpetrator entering the courtroom, she grabbed him by his shirt and wagging her finger near his face yelled “because I am black, and you are white”.

Officers immediately intervened and led the woman outside the court room where activists had gathered in solidarity with the woman.

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