Mother of teenager convicted of lying about Cyprus gang rape slams 'vindictive' judge

The teenager, right, leaves Famagusta District Court with her mother (PA)
The teenager, right, leaves Famagusta District Court with her mother (PA)

The mother of a British teenager convicted of lying about being raped at a hotel in Cyprus has criticised the judge in her daughter’s case as “vindictive”.

The woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, told The Sun she plans to help her daughter appeal her conviction, which could see her jailed for up to year and face a 1,700 euro (£1,450) fine.

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“This has been a nightmare. It’s so vindictive from the judge,” she told the newspaper.

“We’ve been here since July and we’re still waiting. He could have sentenced her today and it would have been over.

“We are very disappointed with the verdict but aren’t surprised given how it’s gone with that particular judge. He is just trying to show who’s boss.”

Defence lawyer, Nicoletta Charalambidou, on Monday told reporters they plan to appeal against the verdict.

“The decision of the court is respected,” she said. “However, we respectfully disagree with it. We believe there have been many violations of the procedure and the rights of a fair trial of our client have been violated.

“We are planning to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court… and if justice fails in our country we are planning to take our case to the European Court of Human Rights.”

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The 19-year-old claims she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on 17 July.

But she was charged and the dozen young men, aged between 15 and 20, who were arrested over the incident were freed after she signed a retraction statement 10 days later.

The woman, who had been due to go to university in September, claimed in court she was raped but forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police.

She now says she is “dedicated to seeking true justice” after judge Michalis Papathanasiou adjourned sentencing until 7 January.

The teenager told The Sun: “We expected this almost from the very start. One moment I was the victim, the next, I was the accused.

“Eight hours of interrogation, denied access to a lawyer — while those accused of raping me had legal representation immediately.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK is seriously concerned about the fair trial guarantees in this deeply distressing case and we will be raising the issue with the Cypriot authorities.”

The judge said he believed the woman had made false allegations because she felt “embarrassed” after realising she had been filmed having sex in a video found on some of the Israelis’ mobile phones.

“The defendant gave police a false rape claim, while having full knowledge that this was a lie,” he said.

“There was no rape, or violence, and police had carried out a thorough investigation making all necessary arrests.”

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