Ayia Napa Briton found guilty over false rape claim

(BBC) – A 19-year-old British woman has been found guilty of lying about being gang-raped by Israeli youths in Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

She had been arrested after withdrawing an allegation that she was attacked by 12 young Israelis in a hotel in July.

The woman had said Cypriot police made her falsely confess to lying about the incident – but the police denied this.

She was found guilty on a charge of causing public mischief, at a court in Paralimni.

The judge at the Famagusta District Court adjourned sentencing until 7 January. She could face up to a year in jail and a £1,500 fine, but her lawyers have asked for a suspended sentence.

Lawyer Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad which is assisting the woman, told BBC News that “there were a number of bases for appealing the decision”.

He said those reasons included the court relying on a retraction statement which was given when no lawyer was present, which he said was a breach of European human rights law.

He also criticised the handling of the case by Judge Michalis Papathanasiou, who he said refused to hear any evidence about whether the alleged rape took place.

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