Cyprus Mail

Bill drafted that would make recording police interviews mandatory in criminal cases

The woman leaving court (File photo)

Lawmakers have drafted a bill that would make mandatory the audio-visual recording of any interview or deposition by police of any person in any investigation relating to a criminal offence.

The legislative proposal was submitted at the House legal affairs committee on Thursday.

The proposed change – backed by all parliamentary parties – will require amending the criminal procedure law.

Up until now, the law does not provide for recording testimonies in cases of adults. Testimonies in Cyprus can only be recorded in cases of minors concerning domestic violence and sexual abuse.

This gap in the law drew a great deal of attention during the trial of a British teenager, who in January of this year was found guilty by a court of lying about being gang-raped in Ayia Napa last summer.

The young woman, who claimed to have been raped by a group of Israeli men, subsequently retracted her statement.

Her retraction came while interrogated by police officers without a lawyer present and without the proceedings being recorded in any way. She was 18 years old at the time, so her testimony was not eligible for recording.

That meant there was only the police’s word that she had volunteered the statement recanting her rape claim.

The woman insists she recanted under duress.

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