British teenager appeals conviction for lying about rape

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The British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Ayia Napa by Israeli tourists has launched an appeal against her ‘unfair’ conviction at the Supreme Court.

The 19-year-old returned to the UK last week after she was handed a four-month jail term, suspended for three years, at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni.

She has vowed to continue her fight to clear her name, and lawyers said grounds for appeal against the public mischief conviction were submitted to the supreme court on Thursday.

Michael Polak, from the Justice Abroad group, said: “When the trial proceedings are considered dispassionately, it is clear that the teenager did not receive a fair trial…her unfair treatment, and the treatment of her representatives and witness, was in clear contrast to the treatment the prosecution and its witness experienced.”

He added: “The conviction of the teenager not only breaches the teenager’s rights under Cypriot law, but it also amounts to a breach of Cyprus’s international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and as a member of the European Union.”

The teenager claimed she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in Ayia Napa on July 17, before being charged herself after signing a retraction statement 10 days later.

She maintains she was raped but was forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police following hours of questioning alone and without legal representation.