Ayia Napa gang rape trial delayed

1 min read

A Cyprus court on Thursday adjourned the trial of five Israelis charged with raping a British woman pending the submission of material evidence by prosecutors.

Police arrested the five Israeli youths, aged 19 and 20, after a British woman reported they allegedly raped her after forcing her into a hotel room at the resort of Ayia Napa on August 3. They have been in custody since.

All five face six counts each of abduction, assault and rape.

The trial, scheduled to start on Thursday, was adjourned until October 16 because key evidence was not presented to the lawyers of the accused.

Because that information was lacking, the five did not enter a plea.

That included a DNA report, photographic material, fingerprint reports, and a statement from a sixth individual, one of the lawyers for the accused said.

“Before we have the whole picture of what my clients are facing, they haven’t answered, they haven’t pleaded,” said lawyer Maria Neophytou, who represents three of the defendants.

The lawyer for the other two men said his clients were not in the room when the alleged assault took place.

Relatives of the defendants crowded into the small courtroom in Paralimni, where the Criminal Court was in session.

Women’s advocacy groups closely follow the case due to the treatment of a British rape victim three years ago.

Last year, Cyprus’s Supreme Court acquitted a British woman wrongfully convicted by a lower court of lying about being gang raped by 12 Israeli men in July 2019. (source Reuters)