UK teen accused of lying about rape by Israelis must stay in Cyprus until 30 Dec
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UK teen accused of lying about rape by Israelis must stay in Cyprus until 30 Dec

British woman, 19, s charged with public mischief for allegedly falsely claiming she was attacked by up to 12 Israeli tourists in an Ayia Napa hotel

Police officers escort a 19-year-old British woman, second from right, out of Famagusta court in town of Paralimni, Cyprus, Monday, July 29, 2019. . (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Police officers escort a 19-year-old British woman, second from right, out of Famagusta court in town of Paralimni, Cyprus, Monday, July 29, 2019. . (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

A British teenager on trial accused of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus must remain on the island over Christmas after a judge postponed the verdict.

The woman, 19, is charged with public mischief for allegedly falsely claiming she was attacked by up to 12 Israeli tourists in an Ayia Napa hotel on July 17.

She insists she was raped but pressured by Cypriot police to make a retraction statement 10 days later.

The teenager had hoped a verdict would be delivered after the judge heard closing arguments at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni on Thursday, but he adjourned the case until December 30.

Michael Polak, a lawyer from the Justice Abroad group, which is assisting the teenager, said in a statement: “We were particularly surprised that it will take two-and-a-half weeks for the court to deliver its verdict, especially given the assurances provided in court that proceedings would be finished last week.

“This means that the teenager, who is not allowed to leave Cyprus, will miss Christmas with her friends and family in the United Kingdom.

“Since reporting the rape, she has spent over a month in prison and six months where she has been unable to leave Cyprus.

“However, despite all of this, she remains determined for justice to be done in her case.”

The teenager was a week into a working holiday before she was due to start university when she alleged she was raped by the group of young Israeli men.

She spent more than a month in prison before she was granted bail at the end of August, but cannot leave the island, having surrendered her passport.

She could face up to a year in jail and a 1,700 euro (£1,500) fine if she is found guilty.

The 12 Israelis arrested over the alleged attack returned home after they were released.

The teenager’s family have set up a crowdfunding page asking for money for legal costs, which has so far almost £50,000.

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