x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hungary to quiz police suspects in UAE chess official assault

The Csongrad County prosecutors' office is investigating an attack on Saud Al Marzooqi who says plain-clothes police beat him and kicked him unconscious earlier this month.

Hungarian prosecutors leading an inquiry into an attack on a UAE chess official are to question two police officers as suspects, a spokesman for the Csongrad County prosecutors' office said yesterday.

The office is investigating the attack on Saud Al Marzooqi who said plain-clothes police beat him and kicked him unconscious earlier this month. He said they confronted him because they thought he was an illegal immigrant.

Mr Al Marzooqi was visiting the southern Hungarian city of Szeged with Salim Abdulrahman, a UAE junior chess grandmaster, who had been preparing for a junior world competition with a top Hungarian grandmaster.

"Two of the police officers involved in the incident have been summoned for a hearing next week as suspects. A third policeman will be heard as a witness," spokesman Ferenc Szanka told The National.

The prosecutors' office is conducting the investigation in an expedited manner. Officials have so far heard Mr Abulrahman, who was able to escape when Mr Al Marzooqi was attacked.

Closed circuit video footage of the incident has also led the authorities to an independent witness. Prosecutors will once again question the witness, Mr Szanka said, who did not wish to speculate when the investigation might be completed.

Local police have declined to comment on the incident due to the ongoing investigation. Hungary's interior ministry has also directed all inquiries to the prosecutors' office.

Szeged, a city of around 170,000 inhabitants, is near key border crossing points between Hungary and neighbours Serbia and Romania. Hungary has stepped up police control in the area as a large span of its border marks the end of the passport-free Schengen zone in Europe.