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20 May, 2024
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ECHR takes on Ayia Napa gang rape case

British female rape accuser and Cypriot legal department both refuse to settle out of court


The Republic of Cyprus is defending its actions after its own Supreme Court cleared a British woman of lying to police about a gang rape in 2019, with both sides sticking to their guns as the case is now appears before the European Court of Human Rights.

A 23-year-old British woman is determined to get justice as she takes Cyprus to the ECHR, four years after she was initially convicted of public mischief by a Greek Cypriot court that found she had lied about being raped by a group of Israeli teens in the resort town of Ayia Napa.

But the defense attorneys of the woman, who was 19 at the time, are now accusing Cypriot authorities of failing to investigate her claims after the Supreme Court eventually overturned the conviction.

ECHR has called on both sides to settle out of court but both the woman and the Legal Department have refused.

Investigators said they did not believe she was raped and further accused her of lying, with the teen being arrested, jailed, prosecuted, and convicted while her prison sentence was later suspended

The Supreme Court had called on local police and the judge to rethink their actions, after it emerged that the case was handled improperly and the woman was forced to sign a confession without having access to a lawyer late at night during a tough interrogation.

Police investigators at the time said they did not believe she was raped and further accused her of lying. She was arrested, jailed, prosecuted, and convicted while her prison sentence was later suspended.

It later emerged that the investigation had been sloppy at best, filled with translation mishaps and numerous failures to investigate the woman's claims.

A video used by prosecutors was also brought into question after it backfired during appeal, when the defense pointed out different circumstances that did not disprove her story as it had been argued by the state.

The ECHR is now reportedly asking the two sides to submit their reports about the case.

According to Reporter, Cypriot defense attorney Nicoletta Charalambidou, one of the woman’s lawyers, the Legal Department “continues to believe that the 19-year-old’s story was filled with inconsistencies and our call for a new investigation could not be justified.”

But case law in reference to the ECHR, which was also cited in the Supreme Court decision, is expected to bring up serious arguments about the rights of defendants.

Cyprus  |  Ayia Napa  |  rape  |  British  |  teen  |  Istraeli teens  |  police  |  Supreme Court  |  ECHR  |  public mischief  |  fair trial

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