Brazilian woman admits attack never happened

A Brazilian woman who claimed to have miscarried twins after being viciously attacked by neo-Nazis in Zurich has admitted she fabricated the story.

This content was published on February 19, 2009 - 19:31

Zurich's public ministry confirmed on Thursday that the 26-year-old lawyer told police one week ago that the attack never took place and that she had mutilated herself.

When confronted with the results of gynaecological tests, the woman admitted that she had not been pregnant either, the ministry said.

City officials did not immediately release information about the woman's admission because they first wanted to confirm the new version of events.

The woman originally claimed to have been attacked on February 8 near the Stettbach railway station by three neo-Nazis who held her down, stripped off her clothes and carved the initials of the rightwing Swiss People's Party into her body with a knife. She said she then miscarried twins in a public toilet as a result.

Pictures of the cuts published in newspapers and online ignited intense outcry in Brazil, where the country's foreign ministry suggested she had been the victim of a hate crime.

A forensic specialist from Zurich University inspected her and called it a "textbook case" of self-mutilation. The cuts were in areas she could reach. None was severe. What is unclear is why she did it or whether she acted alone.

Prosecutors have launched proceedings against the woman for allegedly misleading investigators, a crime that carries jail time.

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