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12° Nicosia,
03 December, 2021
 
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Couple in child abuse to address court

Up to mother and father of two-year-old in Limassol to disprove allegations but charge sheet is complicated

Newsroom

The parents in a child abuse criminal case in Limassol will address the court next month, after the two defendants made no effort to contest evidence during the prima facie stage.

According to local media, a Greek Cypriot man in his late 20’s and his wife, a Latvian woman in her mid-20’s, did not rebut evidence presented Monday by prosecutors, who accused the two defendants of multiple crimes including child abuse, domestic violence, child endangerment, assault and aggravated assault.

The case dates back to summer 2020 when the mother of a two-year-old child in Limassol was called in to a local police station where officers suspected her as well as the father of assaulting his mother.

Reports said the woman ended up being detained on child endangerment charges after police officers said they noticed signs of abuse on the child.

During a preliminary hearing on Monday at a Limassol criminal court, the couple did not offer to disprove evidence brought by prosecution, promoting the judges to order a trial to go forward on May 12, when the defendants would address the court.

The mother of the child had been jailed for three days, while local media said the case was complicated and included reports about spousal abuse

While there had been no official determination of child abuse in the case, reports pointed to suspected child neglect and endangerment following a complaint launched by the child’s paternal grandmother.

During a hearing, a woman from a kindergarten where the child attended for a week, told the court that the child seemed to have been neglected and also had cuts and bruises.

The mother of the child had been jailed for three days, while local media said the case was complicated and included reports of spousal abuse.

Local media said a neighbour had called the hotline at Hope For Children in the evening of 3 June 2020 to report a woman was being physically abused by her husband, with details in the complaint saying the baby was at another location during the alleged incident.

But additional reports said another phone call later in the morning was made to the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Family Violence (SPAVO), with the caller making specific allegations of child abuse.

A female judge then ordered the mother of the baby be remanded for two days, following her arrest, while the father remained free after his remand hearing was cancelled based on court procedural rules.

Reports also said the young mother reportedly had refused to file a complaint against her husband, prompting police to charge the couple together with a total of 12 charges in three separate cases, including child endangerment, domestic violence, aggravated assault, and destruction of property.

A third suspect, the young woman’s sister, was reportedly also facing a single charge of aggravated assault against the mother-in-law.

The mother had requested visitation rights after she and her husband were ordered to stay away from the baby following allegations of child abuse.

A prima facie case in Cypriot courts does not automatically mean the prosecution wins, as the defendants may still contradict evidence during a rebuttal.

But it was not fully clear whether both defendants were facing the same exact charges or if they would have an opportunity to address the court separately and raise reasonable doubt on some of the charges.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  child abuse  |  child neglect  |  assault  |  police  |  Latvian  |  Greek Cypriot  |  family  |  mother  |  father

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