The Ayia Napa rape accuser trial has been pushed back for another week as the British defendant seeks permission to have a British lawyer representing her case.
A Paralimni court on Monday postponed the arraignment of a 19-year-old British girl while her request is pending with the attorney general’s office. She is requesting that a British lawyer take over her defence in court, something which needs special permission due to restrictions and multiple criteria pertaining to foreign lawyers.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the teen was taken to Paralimni courthouse around 8am and the hearing, which was scheduled for 10am, actually took place at 9:30am. Reports also said there were no foreign media present in the courtroom on Monday.
The teen is requesting that a British lawyer take over her defence in court but she needs special permission due to restrictions and multiple criteria pertaining to foreign lawyers
Her former local lawyer, Andreas Pittadjis, withdrew from the case two weeks ago due to “serious disagreement with his client over the handling of the case.”
Pittadjis was reportedly quoted in the media as saying his former client was the victim of revenge porn while he did not deny she had made a false rape claim. But British Lawyer Michael Polak, whose name came up in reports as a possible member on the girl’s new legal team, says a confession for making a false statement was extracted unlawfully.
The teen is in custody pending trial on charges of public mischief, after she was accused of making false statements to police officers following her rape complaint in July. Twelve Israeli teens were arrested and later released following the complaint, after police said she had withdrawn her complaint and retracted her story.
But a support group advocating for the girl’s release says the teen told friends that police forced her to retract rape allegations she had made against Israeli youths.
Cypriot police flatly denied any allegations of misconduct, saying the teen made additional statements retracting the rape complaint on her own volition.
Money still pouring in for her defence
A fundraising project has so far raised over €24,500 in an effort to pay for legal fees for the British teen. A revised goal of the funding campaign is to double that amount, according to the website hosting the “Help Teen Victim Get Justice In Cyprus” campaign hosted by a British lawyer on behalf of the girl’s parents.
According to JusticeAbroad, the teen will be represented by British Barrister Lewis Power QC as well as Cypriot lawyers Nicoletta Charalambidou and Ritsa Pekri.
The next hearing is set for August 27, when the defendant will enter her plea on charges of public mischief. The teen is being held without bail until her trial, facing possible jail time up to one year.
The story has been updated with the actual time of Monday’s court appearance and information on defence team