Saturday, September 18, 2021

Teen gets suspended jail term for ‘false’ rape claim

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A Cypriot court on Tuesday handed a British teenager a four-month suspended prison sentence after convicting her of falsely accusing a dozen tourists of gang rape.

The 19-year-old, who could have faced up to a year in jail, smiled and hugged family at the end of a trial that sparked protests in Britain and calls for tourists to boycott the island.

Lawyers for the woman say the case was littered with investigatory and legal mistakes and issues, including repeated refusals by the judge to consider whether she was raped.

The sentencing took place to loud shouts from protesters outside the court room, including around 50 Israelis — mainly women, but some men — who travelled to Cyprus to offer moral support to the woman.

As the judge delivered his sentencing, shouts of “Cyprus justice, shame on you” were audible in the court, despite police ordering journalists to close windows and blinds.

Lawyers for the woman, whom AFP is not naming, say she was raped in the seaside resort of Ayia Napa by 12 Israeli teenagers in their hotel room on July 17.

She fled in distress to her own hotel and was examined by an in-house doctor, who called the police.

A group of Israeli teenagers were arrested and appeared in court, but 10 days after making a complaint of rape she was interviewed again by police and signed a retraction.

The Israelis were allowed to return home and not called as witnesses.

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