Cypriot Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos offered an apology this week for comments he had made in the gang rape case in Ayia Napa when he was the town’s mayor, calling now for a new investigation after the Supreme Court overturned a public mischief against a British young woman.
Karousos said he has abandoned his previous position in the Ayia Napa rape case following Monday’s vindication of a British young woman by the country’s highest court, with the minister saying “of course I am not sticking to the content of my [previous] position.”
In late July 2019, after all detained suspects were released from custody in connection with a rape complaint by a British female, Karousos rushed to criticize the female and her supporters for “defaming Ayia Napa” and also announced specific funds aimed at correcting the town’s public image worldwide.
Karousos, who was already on a campaign to clean up his town’s public image, demanded a public apology from the British woman as well as her supporters for their slanderous actions based on a fake accusation.
'My personal view is that the case needs to be reopened to let the truth shine on such a serious and tremendously sensitive subject'
“All those who don’t it, the municipality will moe forward with lawsuits against them and also against the 19-year-old British woman,” Karousos said at the time.
But on Monday the British woman’s conviction in Cyprus for lying to police about being raped was overturned by the highest court in the land, with one of her Cypriot lawyers saying the defense team would wait and see how authorities will respond before taking next steps.
“I want to make clear that I condemn any incident of violence, it goes without saying,” the minister told daily Politis.
“I would like to be clear that I took a position as mayor of Ayia Napa at the time only after the police findings were made public through mass media,” Karousos said.
The minister went on to say that it was “now up to law enforcement and the justice system to investigate fully and for the truth to come out.”
“My personal view is that the case needs to be reopened to let the truth shine on such a serious and tremendously sensitive subject,” Karousos said.
In its ruling, the Cypriot Supreme Court issued pointed fingers at law enforcement, prosecutors, and the district judge for failing to exercise due diligence.
The case was picked up by local and foreign media while also drawing statements from politicians in Cyprus and Britain.