British teenager appeals conviction in Cyprus gang-rape case

The woman cannot be identified

Friday, January 17, 2020

The British teenager who was found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has launched an appeal against her conviction.

The 19-year-old woman, who cannot be named, returned the UK last week after being handed a four-month jail term, suspended for three years, at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni.

The teenager claimed she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in an Ayia Napa hotel room on July 17 but retracted her statement 10 days later.

The retraction led to her being charged for public mischief but she said she was forced to change her account by Cypriot police.

She maintains that she was raped but that she was subjected to hours of questioning alone and without legal representation.

She has now vowed to fight to clear her name and lawyers have said that grounds for appeal against the conviction were submitted to the supreme court in Cyprus yesterday.

Michael Polak, from the Justice Abroad group, said: “When the trial proceedings are considered dispassionately, it is clear that the teenager did not receive a fair trial before the Famagusta District Court, and that her unfair treatment, and the treatment of her representatives and witness, was in clear contrast to the treatment the prosecution and its witness experienced.  

“The conviction of the teenager not only breaches the teenager's rights under Cypriot law, but it also amounts to a breach of Cyprus's international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and as a member of the European Union.”

The dozen young men and boys, aged between 15 and 20, arrested over the incident were freed and returned home.

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