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Georgian pensioner facing jail for cutting off Armenias internet by snipping cable

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Services downed: A 75-year-old woman disabled Armenia's internet connections when she damaged a fibre-optic cable.

A 75-year-old woman could be jailed after she cut off the internet services of an entire country.

The elderly woman from Georgia cut through a fibre-optic cable while searching for scrap metal and managed to disable Armenia’s web connection for hours last month, as well as disrupting services in her homeland.

The Georgian interior ministry said the pensioner has been charged with damaging property and could be imprisoned for up to three years if found guilty.

The woman had been scavenging in the village of Ksani when she was disabled Armenia’s internet on March 28.

She damaged a fibre-optic cable owned by the Georgian Railway Telecom company linking the eastern European nation to its neighbour and for most of that evening, customers of Armenia’s leading internet service providers were unable to get online.

Thousands of Georgian internet users also faced disruption when the cable was severed.

‘She found the cable while collecting scrap metal and cut it to with a view to stealing it,’ Georgian interior ministry spokesman Zura Gvenetadze told AFP.

‘Taking into account her advancing years, she has been released pending the end of the investigation and subsequent trial,’ Mr Gvenetadze added.

Georgian Railway Telecom LLC spokesman Giorgi Ionatamishvili said customers suffered ‘massive and catastrophic’ damage after the woman’s actions.

‘We don’t how she found the optic cable, which was secure,’ he told Bloomberg.

Internet services in Georgia were disrupted in similar fashion two years ago when a cable was damaged by a scavenger on the hunt for scrap metal.


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