Spaniard on trial over racist attack

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A man allegedly punched, slapped and kicked an Ecuadorean teenage girl when on a train in Barcelona.

MADRID – A young Spaniard went on trial Thursday for allegedly attacking an Ecuadorean girl on a train in 2007, an assault that was caught on security cameras and caused a furore in Spain.

An official of a Barcelona court said the man - identified only as Sergi Xavier M.M., and the girl, whose identity has not been released, both gave testimony. The official said a prosecutor has asked for a three-year sentence.

The defendant told the court he could not remember what happened the day of the attack because he had a lot to drink and had taken drugs.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with court regulations, said the trial was expected to finish Thursday but a verdict may take several weeks.

Security video images from 7 October 2007 showed the defendant coming into a Barcelona train car and suddenly starting to punch, slap and kick the teenage girl. Police said audio from the tape showed he also shouted racist insults at her.

The tape was widely broadcast on newspaper Web sites and stirred much public debate and protest.

The girl, then aged 16, was reported to have suffered much psychological stress since the incident.

AP / Expatica

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