A well-known and respected Paphos resident was arrested for calling the community leader of Mandria “useless” in the comments section of a Facebook page and is now trying to find out if the charges have officially been dropped.
Performer and singer, Kaela Charalampous, 35, (stage name Kaela Santosh) is still reeling in shock after three plainclothes police officers in two squad cars turned up at her Mandria home on Monday, banging on the door to take her to a police station to face three charges of slander, defamation of character and “‘insulting name calling”.
The story has even hit the headlines in the UK, as it featured in the Daily Mail newspaper and the fact that she could face a fine of €4,000.
A warrant for her arrest was issued after Kypros Michaelides, the community leader of Mandria Village, saw the post on the Mandria Chitchat’ Facebook page and complained to police.
The arrest took place in front of her four-year-old son.
“I called my husband to come home from work and look after our four-year-old, while they took me away. I was shocked and mortified as I have never been in trouble in my life. They arrested me and took me to Paphos police station where I was charged.”
The singer, who has lived in Mandria for the last seven years and speaks fluent Greek, was arrested after commenting on a post along with many other residents, and the original was posted by someone else. No-one else was arrested.
Residents were discussing the decision of the community leader-to start a major construction project in the village centre just days after the most recent lockdown was lifted, causing parking and traffic problems, the said.
Residents questioned why the work wasn’t started months ago when restaurants were closed.
The mum of one joined in the discussion last week and wrote: “He will not get another term. He never should have gotten this one. “I’m glad it’s not just the Cypriot community that know how useless he is !!,” she posted.
Police officers spoke to the community leader and as Kaela understood, through communication between him and her husband as he would not speak to her directly, he said that he would drop the charges if she wrote an apology and posted this on the same Facebook page, to which she agreed.
“I wish to make an apology for choosing such a public forum to voice my opinions and choosing such unfortunate words. I am sorry that I called you useless. Maybe it was inappropriate and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings,” she wrote.
She is now unsure as to whether the charges have been dropped and is seeking legal advice.
In addition, on Friday, the Paphos resident read two articles in Greek media that say the charges have been dropped and that it wasn’t true that she faced a €4,000 fine. There were also comments trashing her family.
“This has really upset me, I come from a really good family in the UK and have had to take legal advice as I was hoping to draw a line under this. I am concerned as to how this is progressing,” she said.
A representative for the community leader informed the Cyprus Mail that the charges have been dropped. “If she has written her apology this is good and she must never say anything like this again,” she said.