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$100,000 donated to fight rape claim against 12 Israel teens 

Image of the Court of Appeals in Greece [UpstateNYer/Wikipedia]
Court of Appeals in Greece [UpstateNYer/Wikipedia]

Donations to the legal fund of the 19-year-old Brit accused of lying about her rape by 12 Israeli men have soared to over £76,000 ($100,437) after a Cypriot court passed a guilty verdict yesterday.

The 19-year-old from Derbyshire claimed she was gang raped by 12 Israeli tourists ranging in age from 15-22 in Cyprus' holiday town of Ayia Napa in mid-July, before later retracting the statement.

Over 1,000 people have donated since the verdict was announced, bringing the total legal fund up to £76,493 ($101,078) and is still rising.

The girl's father said: "Thank you all so much for your generosity and continuing support. We are absolutely astounded by the donations we have received over the Christmas period and in the last few hours. It means the world to our daughter."

READ: Israeli court to rule on female soldiers in combat corps

"We haven't had the best of days a very disappointing verdict, but based on our experience to date, our expectations were low when we arrived this morning."

The UK Foreign Office has also expressed concern over the verdict announced yesterday.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK is seriously concerned about the fair trial guarantees in this deeply distressing case and we will be raising the issue with the Cypriot authorities."

The girl claims she was forced to retract her statement under duress by the Cypriot police following a nine hour interrogation without the presence of a lawyer.

Prominent forensic pathologist Dr Marios Matsakis told the court he was entirely convinced "violence was exercised" during the alleged incident. Scratch marks and bruising on the teenager's body were "consistent with rape having taken place".

READ: Rape, sexual harassment among Israel soldiers increased

The Israeli boys were not present at the trial, and have since gone back to Israel, where they were they received a heroes' welcome.

On their arrival to Tel Aviv in July, they celebrated at Ben Gurion airport by chanting "Am Yisrael Chai" (the people of Israel live) and "The Brit is a whore!" after which they opened bottles of champagne.

Rights groups have suggested that the verdict was influenced by the Cypriot government's desire to maintain good relations with Israel.

Israel and Cyprus are due to sign a deal for Tel Aviv to export natural gas to Europe.

CyprusEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUK
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