Cyprus Court Remands UK Tourist Who Made up Israeli Gang-Rape Claim

This picture taken on July 30, 2019 shows a British teenager who accused seven Israelis of gang rape leaving the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus. - Initially, the 19-year-old woman had alleged that 12 Israelis gang raped her at the hotel where she was staying in the …
MATTHIEU CLAVEL/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – In a case that has roiled Israel, a British tourist was remanded in custody Monday after being arrested the day before on suspicion of falsely accusing 12 Israeli teenagers of gang-rape in Cyprus. 

The Famagusta District Court in Paralimni postponed the suspect’s remand hearing since her lawyer was not present. The new date was set for Tuesday. She is expected to be indicted for disturbing the public order and mischief.

A week and half ago the unnamed woman, 19, filed a rape charge against the Israelis, aged 15 to 18, in the resort town of Ayia Napa. She accused the 12 of taking turns to pin her down and rape her and added that several beat her.

On Sunday, she withdrew the charge and said the sex was consensual, but she was angered that they filmed her without her consent so she decided to accuse them of rape. According to Israeli media reports, in some of the footage of the incident the woman is seen holding the cellphone camera herself.

According to a report by Channel 12, the woman had agreed to sex with three of the teens, but when she refused a fourth the teens kicked her out the hotel room. Humiliated, her friends advised her to concoct the rape allegation.

Five of the Israeli suspects, some of whom had alibis proving they were not present in the hotel room at the time of the incident, had already been released last week. The  remaining seven were released on Sunday and returned to Israel, where they were greeted at Ben Gurion Airport with cheers of jubilation.

Cyprus will take legal action against anyone who supported the rape allegation, Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos told Channel 13 Sunday, “including the girl who gave the alleged statement to police.”

“In the following days, the council of ministers will approve the installation of CCTV cameras around the city of Ayia Napa, the first of their type in Cyprus,” he added. “Because tourists don’t just have to be safe, they have to feel they are safe.”

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