Forensic pathologist Sophoclis Sophocleous told Famagusta district court on Friday that there had been no signs of violence on the body of a 19-year-old British woman charged with falsely claiming she had been gang raped.
In cross examination by criminal law expert and defence lawyer Ritsa Pekri, Sophocleous said he had been asked by police to examine a woman who was allegedly raped by 12 men.
He said he found some bruises on her body, some four or five days old and few newer ones.
He only took into consideration the newer ones and concluded that they didn’t originate from violence.
He also said he didn’t find signs of violence or rape on the girl’s body.
“There were no signs. It doesn’t make any difference if she was raped by one, three or 12 men,” he said. “I have been doing this job for 20 years. I know my job”.
During his examination, Sophocleous repeatedly told the judge there were no signs of violence on the girl’s body.
Defence lawyer Pekri was aided by well-known forensic pathologist Marios Matsakis who will be called as a witness by the defence team next week.
The judge, reminded Pekri that she should not treat this case as a rape case but a case of a public mischief, and after the cross-examination of Sophocleous he told the girl she had three choices: be cross-examined again under oath, remain silent, or make a statement from the bench.
She chose the first option.
The date for the next hearing was set for December 3.
The court case started at 11am but the judge presiding over the case, Michalis Papathanasiou, then declared a one-hour recess.
The defence also asked for a recess claiming they needed to consult the forensic expert before making any statements.
The first witness was Marios Christou, the police officer who interrogated the girl on the day when she retracted the rape statement saying she lied about it.
After the hearing, Michael Polak from Justice Abroad, a legal aid organisation that is assisting the accused said: “The judge repeatedly tells us that this case is not about rape.
“But it is about rape. If the girl was raped that means she wasn’t lying and she is not guilty of the mischief, so how can the judge argue that we should not talk about the rape.”