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09 December, 2019
 
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Judge cautions defence in rape accuser's trial

Alleged gang rape victim in Ayia Napa to remain on the island until next hearing

Newsroom

The trial against a British young woman, who leveled rape accusations against Israeli teens and later withdrew her complaint, began Wednesday with the testimony of a police investigator.

According to local media, a 36-page forensic report was submitted as evidence by the prosecution on Wednesday morning in the Paralimni courtroom, prompting the judge to set new hearing dates later this month.

The defence for the 19-year-old British female defendant initially asked the judge to allow their client to travel home to the UK until the next hearing, citing psychological issues, with the judge denying the request while adjusting the woman’s bail terms by reducing the number of times per week she has to report to a police station.

In Wednesday’s hearing, the prosecution witness told the court that police had evidence showing communication between the woman and a number of Israeli teens, who were among twelve suspects arrested and subsequently released based on her rape complaint earlier this summer.

The judge cautioned the attorneys, saying the purpose of the trial was not to examine the plaintiff’s counter-complaint against the police but whether she is guilty of public mischief

During cross-examination, the defence attorneys - two British and one Cypriot - made their intentions known that they were seeking to prove to the court that their client had been coerced by police to withdraw the rape claims, essentially retracting her story of being gang raped.

But the judge cautioned the attorneys, saying the purpose of the trial was not to examine the plaintiff’s counter-complaint against the police but only to focus on whether she was guilty of public mischief.

The 19-year-old woman is being accused of making false statements to police in a rape complaint she had filed against Israeli teens back in July. Twelve suspects were detained and subsequently released after police said they had arrested the rape accuser who had withdrawn the allegations.

The woman later alleged through her legal representatives that she was coerced by investigators to retract her claims of rape, something which has been refuted by Cypriot police. The alleged rape was dated July 17, early morning, with twelve Israeli teens hours later being picked up by police following the official complaint.

Prosecutors were also said to have included in their report evidence obtained from forensic tests on five of eleven phones that were confiscated during the course of the investigation. All phones were understood to belong to the suspects, who were released after spending a number of days in jail following the initial complaint.

The rape accuser shall remain free on bail in Cyprus until her next hearing, scheduled for October 15.

Local media said the defendant reportedly showed signs of a mental breakdown upon hearing she would have to remain on the island until the next hearing.

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