British 19-year-old woman to face Cyprus court for false rape complaint

The woman’s legal team is split with her Cyprus defense attorney claiming she got a “just verdict” and her British lawyers saying her confession was extracted illegally.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
August 7, 2019 10:14
2 minute read.
British 19-year-old woman to face Cyprus court for false rape complaint

A British tourist covers her face as she is escorted to a police car outside the Famagusta courthouse in Paralimni, Cyprus, July 29. (photo credit: YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU/REUTERS)

The 19-year-old British woman who claimed 12 Israelis raped her during a holiday in Cyprus to later retract her claim will face the Cyprus court on Wednesday as she now faces allegations of false testimony, Walla reported
 
The woman spent ten days in Cyprus police custody. According to British NGO Justice Abroad her retraction was extracted unlawfully. If so, her original complaint might still stand.  
 
As British lawyers are unable to represent clients in Cypriot courts, the woman’s legal defense is handled by lawyer Andreas Pittadjis, who said that he and the British lawyers are not in any conflict.
 
Michael Polak from Justice Abroad argued that the woman was threatened by Cyprus police that she’ll be arrested along with her friends unless she signs a confession claiming she lied in her original complaint, the Guardian reported.

He also argued the confession was dictated to her by the police and that she was led to believe she’ll be released to her hotel once she signs it. 
 
In contrast, she was arrested and is now facing the charge of ‘public mischief’ and may face up to a year in prison if found guilty. 
 
If the woman will plead guilty today it’s possible Pittadjis will ask the court to allow her to go home with the argument she has endured a great deal of pain already as the case became public in three countries, the UK, Israel, and Cyprus.
If she decides to argue that she’s not guilty it’s unclear under what conditions she’ll remain in Cyprus as the authorities might argue she could escape to the UK with ease by traveling to the Turkish part of the island and escaping.
 
 Pittadjis pointed out that while the charge of public mischief is severe, to release footage of people in intimate acts against their consent carries heavier penalties yet that part of the affair is hardly being looked at. 
 
The 12 Israelis were accused of forcing themselves on the young woman and using their phones to document their actions. Allegedly the video clips were released to the web during the investigation. 
 
The young woman did not deny having relations with one of the Israelis but claimed the others forced themselves on her, an allegation she later retracted. 
 
The families of the Israelis, some of them teenagers, argued that the woman is lying and promised to take her to civil court “for every minute they spent in custody.” 
      



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