Cyprus gang-rape case teen launches appeal against conviction
Nineteen-year-old flew back to the UK last week after she was handed a four-month jail term, suspended for three years
A British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has launched an appeal against her conviction.
The 19-year-old woman flew back to the UK last week after she was handed a four-month jail term, suspended for three years, at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni.
She has vowed to continue her fight to clear her name, and lawyers said grounds for appeal against the public mischief conviction were submitted to the supreme court of Cyprus on Thursday.
Michael Polak, from the Justice Abroad group, said: “When the trial proceedings are considered dispassionately, it is clear that the teenager did not receive a fair trial before the Famagusta District Court, and that her unfair treatment, and the treatment of her representatives and witness, was in clear contrast to the treatment the prosecution and its witness experienced.
“The conviction of the teenager not only breaches the teenager’s rights under Cypriot law, but it also amounts to a breach of Cyprus’s international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and as a member of the European Union.”
The teenager claimed she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the town of Ayia Napa on July 17, before being charged herself after signing a retraction statement 10 days later.
She maintains she was raped, but was forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police following hours of questioning alone and without legal representation.
The dozen young men and boys, aged between 15 and 20, arrested over the incident were freed and returned home.