Limassol resident Efi Irodotou, aged 29, has been arrested by Greek authorities with her parents. She is wanted for murder, and forging court documents.
Irodotou killed a 17-year-old student on a moped during a hit-and-run in Limassol in December, 2007. Investigators say she ran a red light, hit Emilios Ioannou with her car and left the scene without calling for medical assistance. The young man died soon after.
Irodotou was drunk at the time of the accident.
In Cyprus, by some suspicious miracle, she managed to get off with a two-month suspended sentence. The two-month sentence shocked the community, and the victim’s father, Pambos Ioannou, burst into tears when he heard the verdict.
“Emilios, they have killed you twice,” said the father of the murdered teen.
The Attorney-General appealed the first sentence and put her back on trial. After failing to show up for court, she then disappeared off the island. The daughter of a wealthy family, her parents ran with her to prevent her from going to jail for manslaughter. Now, the sentence is likely to be much heavier.
The sentences for reckless driving manslaughter cases tend to be under four years, and sometimes under one year if the defendant comes from a wealthy background and can afford influential legal representatives. This blatantly bad example holds back any progress on road safety and reducing the number of fatalities. When a wealthy defendant believes they are above the law, it hardly serves to reinforce it. Irrespective of social standing, drink driving and manslaughter are too serious to play games with justice.
Efi Herodotou is now expected to be extradited back to the island along with her parents.