A Famagusta district court ordered twelve suspects from Israel to be remanded in custody for eight days, in connection with an investigation into an alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British female in Ayia Napa.
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The hearing took place in a Famagusta courtroom on Thursday around noon in a closed session. Reports said the judge approved a special request to hold the remand hearing behind closed doors, on the basis that at least one suspect was under the legal age of 18.
The accuser, a 19-year-old British female tourist, filed a complaint with police on Wednesday morning, telling investigators she was gang raped hours earlier in one of the suspects’ hotel room in Ayia Napa. She implicated a total of twelve Israeli males aged between 16 and 18 as the perpetrators, all of whom were later apprehended by local police.
According to Israeli media, three of the dozen suspects have reportedly admitted having sexual intercourse with the female accuser but denied rape allegations, while nine other suspects reportedly have denied any involvement in the case. Local media sources after the hearing said only two of the boys admitted having sexual intercourse with the girl.
Earlier reports said the British female had struck up a friendship with one of the suspects, while another was acting as an interpreter. After a night out on the resort town, she reportedly went to one of the teen’s hotel room shortly after midnight and the two started having sex. A few minutes later, according to reports, more young men came into the room, with some of them recording video of what was taking place while others proceeded to sexually assault and rape the young woman according to the complaint.
British hotel guests attacked Israelis after incident
In a related incident, British male guests who were staying at the same hotel as the suspects and the alleged victim, reportedly attacked a group of Israeli men after news had spread of a gang rape in one of the rooms. Tourists from both Israel and the UK were said to have been staying at the same hotel, while it was not clear whether any of the suspects were attacked during the physical altercation between the two groups.
Local media said relatives of the suspects were present at the courthouse, complaining about the conditions under which the teens were being held without breakfast. Journalists at the courthouse later reported the suspects were given something to eat before heading into the courtroom, one by one during a closed session. No reporters or individuals who are not directly involved with the case were allowed behind the closed doors.
British and Israeli media have been covering the case extensively.