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Society

UK Woman in Cyprus Rape Case Appeals False Complaint Conviction

August 8, 2021

A British woman who was 19 when she said she was gang raped by young Israeli tourists on Cyprus wants a court to overturn her conviction for public mischief after finding the allegations weren't credible.

The woman reported the rape but then – she said it was under pressure and duress – recanted, but she later insisted the charges she made were true, the case drawing international attention and support for her from women's and other groups.

The hearing will be heard in the Supreme Court of Cyprus on September 16, according to Cypriot media, said The Jerusalem Post, as she continues to maintain she was forced into withdrawing her charges.

In January 2020, she was found guilty and handed a four-month prison sentence with a three-year delay, drawing outrage from her supporters as she returned home but kept up her insistence she hadn't gotten justice.

Her lawyers, the report said, are expected to argue the conviction is invalid because she was a traumatized teen at the time and that there was no lawyer there to advise her as she was held at police headquarters.

The Israeli men who were cleared said they were innocent and were welcomed back like heroes when they went home, drawing some flak there over the rousing reception they received.

A documentary film about her case, Believe Me, led to more complaints that Cyprus' justice system was skewed against rape victims, the movie showing her friends recalling how they found her “crying hysterically surrounded by men.”

Her lawyer Lewis Powers, slammed police failings as a “disgraceful miscarriage of justice,” said the British newspaper The Daily Mail in April, 2020 which added her defense attorney at the trial, Nicoletta Charalambidou, said Cypriots have a culture denying rape and violence.

“How the Cypriot authorities can say they have a strong justice system is beyond me, absolutely disgusting. Hope to God everyone of them "lads" gets what that deserve, sickens me completely,” said another viewer.

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