British Teenager Denies 'False Rape Claims' Against Israeli Men In Cyprus
27 August 2019, 17:11 | Updated: 27 August 2019, 17:17
A 19 year old British woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of making up gang-rape accusations about a group of 12 Israelis at an Ayia Napa holiday resort.
The young woman claimed she was forced into signing a confession that stated she had falsified the claims against the group of Israeli tourists.
She had been in prison in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, for almost two months following a charge of "public mischief" which carries a prison sentence of up to one year.
The accused teenager was released on bail, however she had to surrender her travel documents and must appear at the capital's police station three times a week, which prevents her from leaving the country.
Justice Abroad, a legal aid group who are supporting the young woman's family, and her defence lawyers say investigators used "oppression" to encourage her to retract the rape allegation.
However Cypriot authorities have strongly denied these accusations and stated that the retraction of her accusation was entirely voluntary.
Cypriot state broadcaster RIK reported that the woman and the group of 12 men were staying separately in the same hotel in the town which is a favourite for young travellers.
The group, aged between 15 and 18, were initially detained but later released without charge and have since returned home.
They were filmed chanting “Am Yisrael Chai” (the people of Israel lives), and “The Brit is a whore”, according to The Times of Israel upon returning to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the parents of the British teenager, who cannot be named unless she is found culpable, to raise money for her legal fees and so far more than £23,000 has been donated.
The fundraising organiser repeated the claims that her follow-up statement was made under duress and in breach of her rights.
They said: "She is alone in a prison abroad after an awful series of events, we just want to bring her home."
A judge has set a start date for her trial on 2 October.