Photographer wins legal aid to sue riot police

A freelance photographer shot in the leg by Swiss riot police has been granted legal aid to sue them for compensation.

But Guy Smallman is furious that his payout will be capped under Swiss law at 51,000 Swiss Francs, or around £23,000.

Smallman was injured in May 2003 while covering the anti-G8 protests in Geneva when he was hit by a police stun grenade.

Video footage of the event showed a group of about nine riot police apparently pursuing Smallman up a staircase.

He claims he was covering a peaceful protest when, unprovoked, police deliberately targeted him.

A fist-sized hole was blown out of his leg and he says he still suffers pain from the injury.

He said: “There’s no such thing as punitive damages in Swiss law. The law is heavily stacked in favour of the authorities in Switzerland.

“I’m glad I’ve been granted legal aid but I’m critical of a country that on the one hand is so rich, but on the other is able to treat people and their rights with such contempt.”

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