Cyprus Mail

Conflicting versions in closing arguments of Ayia Napa rape claim case

File photo: the British teen being taken to appear in court in the Ayia Napa rape case

The defence in the trial of a British woman charged with public nuisance after she withdrew a rape claim, said on Thursday the police investigation of her complaint had been flawed and officers displayed the wrong attitude towards the girl and her complaint.

The two sides on Thursday submitted their closing arguments in writing in the case that shocked the island back in July after the woman claimed she had been gang-raped by a group of 12 Israeli men but two weeks later signed a police statement retracting the claim.

She was charged with causing a public nuisance but then said her retraction was made under duress.

The court will deliver its verdict on December 30.

Summarising her arguments, the defence lawyer Ritsa Pekri said the police “committed important omissions and violations at the investigation stage”, not fully examining the Israeli men’s telephone data and not “putting proper measures in place to protect the crime scene”.

Pekri said the police also failed to conduct an identity parade while the state pathologist who examined the woman had formed the wrong idea as to the events of the case.

“His final report is deficient, and his findings were based on wrong information and guidance,” she said, asking the court to reject it as unreliable.

The defence also argued that the woman’s right to a fair trial had been affected because the evidence was not disclosed fully and in time.

Pekri further suggested that her client’s rights as a victim of crime and gender violence were also violated.

“The rape report the defendant filed on July 17, 2019 was not false and consequently the crime of rape committed against her on the particular day was not a figment of her imagination,” the lawyer said.

The 19-year-old had claimed that the statement in which she had recanted her rape complaint had been extracted under duress but a trial within a trial decided otherwise.

Prosecutor Adamos Demosthenous argued that the evidence presented by the state was overwhelming and left no doubt over the defendant’s guilt.

“In her statement she even confessed to making a false rape complaint, revealing her motive at the same time,” he said.

The prosecutor said the defendant admitted that she felt shame and humiliation when she realised she was being recorded while having intercourse, something she kept from the investigators and only revealed in her second statement.

“… It proves she had kept it a secret just so her motive would not be revealed,” he said.

That the defendant’s report “was false and related to an imaginary offence was confirmed by the July 17 video submitted as evidence. In it, the defendant is seen engaging in amorous antics with one of the individuals she reported of raping her and while the video was recorded at 2.57 in the morning, the woman reported that her rape started at around 12.30am.”


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