A Cyprus court on Monday convicted a British girl for lying about the gang rape of Israeli youths six months ago, and in a case closely watched by human rights groups, the court ruled in Paralimni town that the 19-year-old young woman had lied about 12 Israeli teenagers sexually assaulted her, and her verdict is scheduled for January 7, next year.
The woman, whose name could not be published for legal reasons, was arrested after the police said that she withdrew her accusation of teenagers of gang rape in a room in the Ayia Napa resort for the holidays in July, and the young woman was convicted of general harm involving fine, imprisonment for a year or both.
The young woman argued that she withdrew her accusation under pressure from the police during an urgent interrogation without the presence of a lawyer, and the prosecutors and the court rejected the gang rape allegations.
In his ruling, the Chief Justice said, “My conclusion is that the defendant’s charge is unquestionably proven”, and described her allegations as inconsistent, saying that she tried to mislead the court.
Her attorneys said she would appeal the verdict, but they sought clemency from the court to pass the verdict, including the possibility of a suspended sentence.
A court in the city of Paralimni ruled last August that she would be released on bail before the trial after spending a month in detention, and then arrested the Israeli authorities, who were spending a vacation in Cyprus, before releasing them later without charge, and they had denied the allegation of assaulting the British girl, they have since returned to Israel.
The alleged crime took place in the tourist city of Ayia Napa, in the southeast of the Mediterranean island, and the city of Ayia Napa, known for its nightlife and sandy beaches, receives numerous young tourists.
The British contribute the largest part of the tourists in Cyprus, numbering 1.32 million in 2018, and the island also receives Israeli and Russian tourists.