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Cyprus drops gambling charges against 98-year-old

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POSTED March 3, 2012 1:42 a.m.

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ attorney general has dropped gambling charges against about 40 elderly women, including a 98-year-old, whose weekly poker-and-bridge party had been raided by police.

The women, mostly in their 70s, had become a local cause celebre after receiving a court summons this week. Interviews with 98-year-old Eftychia Yiasemidou appeared in several media outlets.

An assistant for Attorney General Petros Clerides said Friday the official had been unaware of the case and only found out about it through media reports.

Gambling in Cyprus is punishable by up to six months in jail or a €750 ($1,000) fine. The ladies were playing at home with small amounts of cash during their weekly afternoon get-together in November 2009 when police raided the house.

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