The Supreme Court of Cyprus overturned the conviction of a British citizen. She was found guilty of falsely reporting a gang rape involving Israeli citizens, transmits Reuters.
Lawyers and relatives of the British, commenting on the decision of the court, said that the Cypriot authorities should resume the investigation of a sexual crime committed three years ago.
“The acquittal by the Supreme Court points to the failure of the authorities to effectively investigate the rape allegation she (the victim) reported. This is what we will now seek,” said lawyer Nicoletta Charalambidou, representing the interests of the victim.
In July 2019, a 19-year-old British woman turned to law enforcement in Cyprus and reported that 12 Israeli tourists had raped her in the resort of Ayia Napa. However, a few days later, the complaint was withdrawn, and the charge was eventually brought against the British woman herself, who spent several weeks in custody. Israelis suspected of rape, who at that time were from 15 to 20 years old, left for their homeland, transmits BBC.
Later, the Briton said that she withdrew her statement after many hours of interrogation by the police, during which there was no lawyer.
In January 2020, the court of first instance sentenced the British woman to a four-month suspended sentence.
The lawyers noted that during the consideration of the case, the principle of the adversarial nature of the parties was violated. The judge interrupted the defense representatives at least seven times, who wanted to present evidence supporting the defendant’s original version. “This is not a rape case,” the judge said.
The UK Foreign Office called the verdict unfair. And in British society there were calls for a tourist boycott of Cyprus, writes European Truth. Every third visitor to Cyprus is British: in 2019, more than 1.3 million British citizens visited Cyprus.