Dominic Raab expresses 'serious concerns' over case of British teen found guilty of lying about gang-rape in Cyprus

Posted On: 
31st December 2019

Dominic Raab has expressed "serious concerns" over the case of a British teenager found guilty by a Cypriot court of fabricating claims she had been the victim of rape.

The Foreign Secretary vowed to look into the case after the British teen alleged she was not given a fair trial

The Foreign Secretary has vowed to raise the "deeply concerning" case with Cypriot authorities after the 19-year-old woman was convicted of lying about being gang raped by up to 12 Israeli youths during a stay in the resort of Ayia Napa in July.

The unnamed British woman was convicted of a "public mischief" by the court after she dropped the allegations against the group of men, but claimed her retraction was obtained by Cypriot police under duress. 

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Judge Michaelis Andrea Papathanasiou claimed the woman had made up the allegation after she discovered the men had filmed the encounter without her knowledge.

Speaking at the end of the five-month court case, he added: "The defendant gave police a false rape claim, while having full knowledge that this was a lie. The guilt of the accused is proven. She confessed her guilt."

But the teen vowed to get "true justice" as her legal team suggested they would be willing to appeal the case to the European Court of Human Rights to get a fair verdict.

"There was, sadly, no suprise at the judgement," she told The Sun.

"I am entirely dedicated to seeking true justice - and not just for my case.

"I have been contacted by many who have been through similar experiences. This fight is for them and many more who have been forced to remain silent."

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office suggested UK ministers were preparing to intervene in the case after reports the teen was denied legal support during the process.

A spokesperson for the department, 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 teen could face up to a year in a Cypriot prison as well as a £1,500 fine for the public mischief conviction, but her legal team are pressing for a suspended sentence.

Speaking to ITV News, her mother branded the verdict "astonishing".

"It's a bit of a nightmare," she said. "I find myself kind of unable to believe the violations of human rights she's experienced throughout the whole affair, particularly things like having no access to lawyers while being interrogated for hours on end over a Saturday night.

"I think that's very bizarre. It's also astonishing to me that the Israelis that were originally accused of the crime had legal representation within a matter of hours, whereas my daughter wasn't offered legal representation at all throughout the whole thing.

"She asked for a lawyer, and didn't get, absolutely astonishing verdict really."