Cyprus Mail

Supreme Court due to rule on rape case appeal on Monday

Demonstrators outside a previous court hearing into the case

The Supreme Court’s decision on whether to uphold or remove the conviction of a young British woman who was accused of lying about being gang-raped, will be important for the recognition of fair trial provisions in Cypriot courts, her lawyers have said.

Due Monday, the decision will respond to an appeal made by the woman’s team of British and Cypriot lawyers in September.

The woman was handed a suspended four-month prison sentence last year after being found guilty of public mischief for reporting she was raped in Ayia Napa in 2019.

In July 2019, she told police that she had been raped by around 12 Israeli tourists aged 15 to 22, but was charged when she retracted her initial complaint a little over a week later.

She has since maintained she was pressured by Famagusta police officers to withdraw her statement, and her team of lawyers issued an appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing the conviction is unsafe.

The legal team was comprised of Lewis Power QC, human rights advocate Nicoletta Charalambidou and criminal law expert Ritsa Pekri.

“The decision on Monday is a very important one, not just for the woman involved but also for the recognition of fair trial provisions in Cypriot courts,” Justice Abroad’s Michael Polak, who coordinated the appeal against the teenager’s conviction, said.

“It was clear to all watching the trial of our client that guilt had been decided before the trial had begun”.

The main grounds of appeal include that the retraction statement should not have been admitted in the trial proceedings coming after the vulnerable teen was held for six hours at the police station without a lawyer, suffering from PTSD and without a translator.

“We hope that on Monday the Supreme Court will overturn the unjust conviction of our client,” Polak said.

If not, the woman’s lawyers are determined to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Israeli men and boys arrested in relation to the incident denied any wrongdoing and were released.


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