A cyclist who was recorded knocking over a five-year-old girl in Belgium around Christmas last year has announced he will sue the cameraman because he shared the video of the incident on social media.
The video, recorded by the child’s father, caused a stir in Belgium after it was posted on Facebook and showed the cyclist turning a bend and extending his knee, pushing the girl over.
Based on this evidence, he was originally questioned for the intentional assault and battery to a minor. In court, he explained that he did not intend to hurt the girl, and said he only put out his knee to ‘rebalance himself’.
“I felt that I had touched the little girl but I did not immediately realise that she had fallen,” the cyclist explained in February. “Her father grabbed me by the shoulders and shouted. I apologised and told him I hadn’t seen her. As he was threatening me, I continued on my way when I saw that the little one had got up and that she was not injured.”
In March 2021, the 60-year-old man received a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay the family a symbolic €1 in damages.
In the latest update to the case, however, the cyclist is suing the girl’s father for slander because the images shared on social media led to him having to stay inside for several weeks, RTL reports.
Speaking to RTL, the girl’s father’s lawyer argued that “We have the right to express ourselves. We have the right to post a video on the internet or have it posted. In this case, we have to examine whether we have exceeded the limits of this freedom of expression.”
The two sides will meet for the first time on 18 November.