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British woman wins appeal against gang rape lie conviction in Cyprus

A British woman who reported being gang-raped in the South of Cyprus has had her conviction for allegedly lying about the attack overturned.

The woman, then 19, told police she had been raped by a group of 12 Israeli men in Ayia Napa in July 2019.

The Derbyshire teenager retracted the allegation after being held without a lawyer, and was then tried and convicted of causing public mischief.

Her conviction was overturned at the country’s Supreme Court.

The woman had not had to serve her original four-month sentence in prison, as it had been suspended by the judge.

However, barrister Michael Polak, from Justice Abroad, said she had wanted to get the conviction overturned in order to clear her name.

The woman’s family now want the original rape allegations she made to be investigated, in order for her to get “true justice”.

Mr Polak, who co-ordinated the appeal against the conviction, said the teenager and her female lawyers had been shouted at and “treated with contempt” during the trial.

“We have always maintained that our client was not given a fair trial and today the Supreme Court of Cyprus has agreed with us,” he said.

“Important fair trial provisions, which are in place to prevent miscarriages of justice, were totally disregarded in this case.

“A young and vulnerable woman was not only mistreated when she reported the rape to the police, but then she was just put through a trial process that was manifestly unfair, as the Supreme Court has recognised.”

Mr Polak said the trial judge had shouted “this is not a rape case” at least seven times when her female lawyers tried to put forward evidence that supported the woman’s case that she had been raped.

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