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Cyprus rape case: UK teen to return home

A British teenager (C) accused of falsely claiming she was raped by Israeli tourists, covers her face as she arrives for her trial in Paralimni, Cyprus on 7 January 2020 [IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images]
A British teenager (C) accused of falsely claiming she was raped by Israeli tourists, covers her face as she arrives for her trial in Paralimni, Cyprus on 7 January 2020 [IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images]

The British teenager accused of "making up" a brutal gang rape was handed a four month suspended sentence by a Cyprus court today.

Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said the defendant's psychological state had led to "give her a second chance" by handing down a suspended sentence.

He said in court: "All mitigating factors were taken into account but it does not negate the seriousness of the offence."

The 19-year-old was also ordered to pay $165 in legal fees and is expected to fly home imminently.

He said: "I admit, I have been troubled over this. All the evidence shows that she had lied and prevented the police from their other duties."

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He continued: "Because of her testimony, 12 people were arrested and seven of them were there for at least ten days. That was also a serious offence. They were deprived of their liberty."

This comes after Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he would issue a presidential pardon whatever sentence was handed down to the 19-year-old.

The girl's legal team, however, have hinted that the matter is far from over, with talk of taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights, citing the manner in which the trial was conducted and the behaviour of the police, who they claim forced her to sign a retraction after eight hours of interrogation without legal representation.

The teen's lawyer Lewis Power QC said: "We will be seeking an expedited appeal to the Supreme Court of Cyprus and we will also be considering going to the European Court of Human Rights."

We do not feel we have had justice in terms of how the trial progressed, the manner in which it was conducted, the initial police investigation and the fact that we feel she did not receive a fair trial.

The 19-year-old was holidaying in popular resort Ayia Napa where she was allegedly gang-raped and filmed by 12 Israeli boys.

After she reported the incident to Cypriot police, she retracted the statement, and was subsequently imprisoned, had her passport confiscated and convicted for being a "public nuisance".

Questions were raised about her treatment and how police dealt with case after a pathologist said she was found to have 35 bruises on her body consistent with violent sexual assault.

READ: Cyprus to pardon British teen convicted of 'making up' gang rape

The 12 boys have since returned to Israel, where they were greeted with a heroes' welcome at Ben Gurion Airport.

They then popped open bottles of champagne and chanted: "The Brit is a whore."

The case has sparked protests amongst women's and human rights groups, who suggested that the harsh treatment of the girl was due to Cyprus wanting to maintain relations with Israel.

On 2 January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to Athens to sign an agreement with the leaders of Greece and Cyprus to extend a marine pipeline, allowing Tel Aviv to export natural gas to Europe through the Mediterranean.

The new €6 billion ($6.7 billion) underwater pipeline, which would be the world's longest, is forecast to meet about ten per cent of Europe's gas needs by 2025.

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CyprusEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsUK
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