British woman convicted of lying about gang rape

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Cyprus court rules that woman lied about being abused by Israeli teenagers

Dec 30, 2019

December 30, 2019

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A Cyprus court on Monday found a British woman guilty of lying about being gang raped by Israeli youths six months ago.

In a case closely followed by rights groups, a district court in the town of Paralimni ruled the woman, aged 19 at the time, had lied about being sexually abused by the 12 Israeli teenagers in July. Sentencing was set for January 7.

The woman was arrested after police said she retracted her statement . She had faced charges of public mischief.

The woman said she recanted under duress from police during persistent questioning without a lawyer present. Prosecutors and the court dismissed that claim.

"My conclusion is that the guilt of the accused has been proven beyond reasonable doubt," the presiding judge said in his verdict, describing her claims as inconsistent and saying that she had attempted to mislead the court.

The Israelis, who denied any accusation of rape, were released 10 days after their arrest without charge and on the day the woman retracted her statement.

The teenagers were not summoned to court because prosecutors considered it a case of public mischief and not rape.

The woman told the court that said she was in a hotel room with one of the Israeli youths with whom she had a relationship when the others appeared and pinned her down.

One defence witness, Marios Matsakis, a forensic pathologist who formerly worked for the state, said the woman's injuries were consistent with rape. Prosecutors say she fabricated the allegation, angry at being filmed during sex.

The incident was reported as having occurred in the coastal resort of Ayia Napa, some eight kilometres from Paralimni, which is popular with young people.

Updated: December 30, 2019 02:33 PM

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