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    HomeEuropean UnionCyprusCourt rules British woman was not pressured into retracting rape claim

    Court rules British woman was not pressured into retracting rape claim

    Famagusta district court on Thursday ruled that a British teen had not been pressured by police to retract a complaint that she had been raped by 12 Israeli tourists at her Ayia Napa Hotel in July, philenews reports.

    The 19-year-old Briton is charged with falsely claiming that she had been gang-raped. Her defense has countered that investigators had exercised psychological pressure to extract a retraction  – which led to the charge of public mischief to which she has pleaded not guilty.

    Ruling in the ‘trial within the trial’ judge Michalis Papathanasiou said that the defence’s claim that the woman’s July 28 statement was the result of pressure by Cyprus police was unfounded. He said her account had contradictions, lacked coherence, contained exaggerations, was illogical and inconsistent.

    The messages submitted as evidence were selective and were sent after the British teen gave her statement, the judge said.

    As regards the British psychologist who testified by teleconference, the judge said she was an unreliable witness.

    He said the defendant had written her statement on her own and has signed it, was given breaks, had gone to the bathroom and was not under pressure when she wrote it.

    The young woman had told the court last month that her retraction was extracted under duress.

    She also alleged she had told investigators her mother is a lawyer and that she had asked more than once to have a lawyer but police denied her that right. She has also said she suffers from the post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Her psychologist, Chartered Consultant Psychologist Dr Christine Tizzard told Paralimni district court by teleconference on November 1 that the 19-year-old does suffer from post-traumatic stress following the death of her horse two years ago.

    The psychologist who described herself as an expert on post-traumatic stress disorders also said that she had talked six times on the phone with the accused before preparing a 12-page-long psychological report on October 6. And that the talks lasted “for a very long time”.

    Initially, the teenager had alleged that 12 Israelis raped her on July 17 at a hotel in the resort of Ayia Napa, a magnet for younger tourists attracted by its beaches and nightlife.

    The Israelis aged 15 to 18 were later released without charge after the woman was arrested on suspicion of “making a false statement about an imaginary crime”.

    The Israelis have denied any allegation of assault and have since returned home.

    If convicted the teenager could face up to one year in prison and a fine of around €1,700.

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