Police are conducting DNA tests and examining mobile phones of twelve Israeli youths arrested in the Ayia Napa gang rape case, while allegations of abuse at the hands of law enforcement are also coming into focus.
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The British tourist says suspects in a large group were holding their phones and laughing while she was pinned down and raped
Twelve Israeli teenagers, aged between 16 and 18, were remanded in custody on Thursday for eight days, following allegations launched by a 19-year-old British female tourist. The girl told police she was gang raped while being filmed in a hotel room in the resort town of Ayia Napa, Famagusta district.
While the remand hearing was held behind closed doors, due to some of them reportedly being under the age of 18, details emerged suggesting two to three suspects admitted sexual contact but denied rape allegations.
The alleged victim told investigators she was held down by force as some of the suspects sexually assaulted and raped her while others were filming the incident. But it was not clear in the police report whether the woman alleged the involvement of all twelve suspects. Local media on Friday said some youths remained outside the hotel room while others went inside, but the report could not be confirmed independently.
Attorney accuses police of playing tricks
Nir Yaslovitzh, an attorney representing some of the suspects, accused the police of “playing tricks” by arresting all twelve youths on rape charges, with some Israeli media reporting that investigators were trying to fish out information and see how the suspects would react. Some reports added that some of the suspects were not acquainted with each other prior to the alleged incident.
Israeli media said nine of the suspects denied being present in the room during the alleged rape, while police have hinted at forensic evidence linking all suspects to the incident.
Reports said security camera footage was at the hands of investigators, who were attempting to piece together a chain of events in order to compare scenes from CCTV to the statements and timeline offered by the alleged victim. Footage was said to have been taken from the hotel as well as nearby shops.
Mob mentality and drinking alleged
Some reports also said there was drinking involved on the night of the alleged incident, with the British tourist in her police complaint alleging that suspects in a large group were holding their phones and laughing while she was pinned down and raped.
Police were also said to be examining the phones of all twelve suspects, which were confiscated following their arrest. Media sources said law enforcement officials have obtained forensic evidence linking all twelve suspects to the alleged crime. But the kind of evidence was not specified, while DNA results reportedly were expected within days.
The British girl was was said to have been on vacation in Cyprus while recently she found a job on the island. She reportedly had a relationship with one of the suspects, all of whom came on vacation just before enlisting in the Israeli army.
Parents of some of the suspects have told media that their sons were innocent, while one suspect told his family that police physically abused the Israeli youths. Local media reported that doctors examined the suspects and found no physical marks of the alleged abuse.