Cyprus overturns conviction of woman who accused Israelis of rape

Cyprus’ Supreme Court on Monday overturned the conviction of a Briton accused of fabricating allegations that a group of Israeli tourist...


Cyprus’ Supreme Court on Monday overturned the conviction of a Briton accused of fabricating allegations that a group of Israeli tourists raped her in a hotel room in Cyprus.

In 2019, less than two weeks after the woman told Cypriot police that a dozen Israeli tourists had raped her, she was arrested for making a false accusation. Her case attracted the attention of the British and Israeli media, and she was sentenced and sentenced to a four-month suspended prison sentence.

Lewis Power, the woman’s attorney, said in an interview Monday that the decision was a watershed moment for victims of sexual assault and that his client had received the justice she deserved. The Supreme Court ruled that faults in the woman’s trial were sufficient reason to overturn her conviction, he said.

He said the woman, who was 18 when she first presented herself to police, and her family were “absolutely delighted” and relieved by the decision.

Mr Power said local Cypriot police had botched the initial investigation and he would urge them to re-examine his rape allegations. He said his client was denied access to a lawyer while she was being questioned by police and authorities pressured her to withdraw her claims.

Neither the woman nor the defendants have been named due to their age and press restrictions imposed by the Cypriot government, he said.

According to Mr Power, the woman said she had had a holiday romance with one of the Israeli men, whom she had met in the Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa. She said she agreed to go back to her hotel room, but shortly after they arrived her friends came in and took turns raping her.

Nir Yaslovitzh, an attorney who has represented several of the Israelis charged in the case, said in a statement Monday: “My clients support the claim that the complaint filed against them was a false complaint, and therefore my clients are not troubled by the decision of the court in Cyprus. The fact that the court accepted the appeal indicates flaws in its own trial, not that my clients are guilty.”

Yaniv Habari, a Cyprus-based Israeli lawyer who also represented some of the Israelis involved, said in a phone interview that he had not seen Cypriot police reopen the rape case in light of Monday’s ruling. .

“The judgment does not mean that she was raped or not, or that her testimony was credible or not,” Habari said of Monday’s ruling. “The Supreme Court justices did not overturn the judgment on the basis that she had been raped, but simply on the basis that she had not received a fair trial.”

In 2019, Mr. Yaslovitch told the media that video clips made by at least one of the Israelis contradicted the accuser’s account. He said when investigators confronted her with the video and other inconsistencies in her testimony, she could offer no explanation.

After the initial allegations in 2019, lawyers for three of the detained Israelis said DNA tests indicated their clients had had some form of sexual contact with the woman. Their clients said the meeting was consensual. It was unclear how or if the nine other Israelis who had been suspected were involved.

The case attracted the attention of the media and women’s rights organizations, which expressed outrage at the way police handled the woman’s allegations and treated her during the investigation. In Israel, much of the reaction to the case revolved around concerns about victim shaming and societal pressures for young men to prove their masculinity.

Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday that it welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. “The UK government has regularly raised this matter with the authorities and will continue to work with the Cypriot authorities to improve due process and support victims,” ​​the statement said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Cyprus overturns conviction of woman who accused Israelis of rape
Cyprus overturns conviction of woman who accused Israelis of rape
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