98 Year-old Spared Cyprus Court Over €100 Poker Game

Back in November 2009, a group of elderly women gathered together at a home in Limassol, Cyprus for an afternoon of playing cards over a few sandwiches and pastries.
However, that Sunday at around 6pm the Cyprus police decided to raid the house and round up the 42 women aged in their late 60’s to 98, for violating the country’s gambling laws.
On the Mediterranean Sea’s third largest island, gambling is punishable by six months in prison or a €750 ($1,000) fine. Consequently, the OAPs were then summoned to appear in court after Cyprus police discovered 546 chips and €100 in cash at the house.
Speaking on behalf of her 98-year-old mother, daughter Yioula Diakantoni said:
“They were playing with only very small sums of money, just to make it interesting. It’s silly for police to concern themselves with such trivial games when there are more serious things they should pursue.”
Highlighting further the farcical nature of the police operation, in the two years since the police raid took place, two of the women have died, while another two are in a nursing home and have since lost their memories of the event.
Nevertheless, the Cyprus police remained determined to prosecute the elderly citizens, with police spokesman Andreas Angelides stating:
“We followed the law. We examined the case, conducted our investigations and the case is now out of our hands.”
Meanwhile, the 98 year-old woman Eftychia Yiasemidou, said she would attend court if her doctor permits it, while her daughter Diakantoni, added:
“If the doctor lets me I will take my mother to court so people can say [about the police]: look what lady you had come to court…If you ask me this is just a laughing matter.”
The ladies would have been expected to attend the Limassol District court on March 16th, but in the last few hours, it has been announced that the Cyprus’ attorney general has now dropped all the gambling charges, with an official stating that Attorney General Petros Clerides was not aware of the case and only learned about it through news reports.

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