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Woman in Napa rape case says she recanted under duress (Updated)

File photo: the girl being taken to court for a previous hearing Photo: Christos Theodordes

A British woman, 19, who claimed she had been raped by a group of Israeli men and later recanted is now alleging she had been pressured by police to withdraw her complaint and was denied a lawyer during questioning, according to The Sun.

Quoting the woman, the tabloid reported on Sunday that police officers had allegedly dictated a statement in which she admitted faking allegations and she reluctantly signed only because she was exhausted after eight hours at the police station.

The 19-year-old faces up to a year in jail for making false statements to police.

The woman, who alleged some three weeks ago that she was gang-raped by 12 Israelis, is facing charges of public mischief after she reportedly confessed under questioning that her encounter with the teenagers was consensual and made the claim because she was angry that some of the teens had filmed her having sex.

According to The Sun, the teenager has hired a barrister, Michael Polak, who is backed by an ex-Foreign Office diplomat and former detective superintendent, David Swindle.

Polak, of campaign group Justice Abroad, said: “The confession was obtained under oppression given the threats made. She was not cautioned and was not given access to a lawyer as was her right under the European Convention on Human rights.”

The Sun also published a message the 19-year-old had allegedly sent a friend that that broke off mid-sentence.

“It’s crazy. They wouldn’t let me talk to anyone. I said I have a right to have a lawyer here. Not in Cyprus, maybe the UK not Cyprus.”

“They’ve honestly made me sign false . . . ”

Cypriot police did not issue an official response to the allegations but have rejected the woman’s claims.

A source said the woman had written down her statement by hand herself and questioned why she had not brought up the issue during her previous court appearances.

The source also pointed out that suspects under arrest are not allowed to keep their mobile phones so the woman could not have been under arrest when she was messaging her friends.

The 19-year-old is scheduled to appear before court on Wednesday.

Police have since freed the 12 Israelis, aged between 15 and 18, who returned home to a heroes’ welcome.

Three of the suspects admitted to having sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual.

Doubts about the woman’s story were raised after one of the teens she identified as taking part in the gang rape was able to prove he was in bed with his girlfriend who had taken a selfie.

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