A British teenager convicted of committing a gang-rape while on holiday in the sun has won her heart over.
The woman, now 21, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a suspended four-month prison sentence despite giving clear evidence of her appalling ordeal.
She went from victim to defendant after police in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, accused her of carrying out the attack in July 2019, when she withdrew her claim after a tense night of interrogation without any lawyers and interpreters.
Her trial was a startling farce as she burst into tears after the judge and prosecutors shouted at her and her legal team, barely giving her a chance. speak or present their evidence before she was found guilty of public mischief in January 2020.
Speaking after the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal in Cyprus, the girl’s mother said: “It is with great relief that we know that the authorities in Cyprus have recognized flaws in the legal process. their.
“While this decision does not excuse the way she was treated by the police or judges or other authorities, it does offer hope that my daughters’ suffering will at least bring about positive change in the way that victims of crime have been treated.
“Of course, if justice is to be done, a competent authority will need to collect the evidence gathered in Cyprus and do with it what should have happened in the first place.”
Outside the courthouse in Nicosia, a group of supporters gathered ahead of the verdict despite the frigid temperatures, carrying placards and banners.
Clapping and cheering, they shouted “They’re guilty” as news of the dramatic court’s decision to overturn the verdict spread.
Some carried placards and placards that read “Stop Rape Culture” and “I Believe Her”.
The woman, a University student from Derbyshire, who was 19 at the time, said she was attacked by a group of 12 men in Ayia Napa three years ago.
She had to suspend her studies because she was detained for three months before finally convicted of lying and was sentenced to four months of probation in 2020, allowing her to leave the island after nearly six months.
Her terrifying ordeal happened in Ayia Napa in July 2019 when she flew to the island for a holiday after finishing her A-level.
She began a holiday romance with an Israeli football player, 19-year-old Shimon Yusufov, and when they were together in his hotel room one night in July, she announced claimed that a group of his friends raped and took turns raping her. .
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The then 18-year-old, who cannot be named in the UK for legal reasons, reported the assault to police, and 12 Israelis were subsequently arrested – all of whom claim it was consensual. .
But the challenge came when, after eight hours of being quizzed by the police and denied a lawyer, the girl was branded a liar and the police issued a statement withdrawing her story – asking her to sign it. into the books when her alleged attackers were released.
She was found guilty of public mischief after a tortured legal process that her attorney said violated her human rights.
The woman’s legal team includes Lewis Power QC, human rights campaigner Nicoletta Charalambidou and criminal law expert Ritsa Pekri.
Michael Polak of the advocacy group Justice Abroad, said: “Monday’s decision is a very important one, not only for the woman involved but also to recognize the terms of a fair trial in the courts. Cyprus judgment.
“It was clear to everyone who watched our client’s trial that the charge was decided before the trial began.”
The main grounds of appeal include claiming a retraction that should not have been admitted during the trial that took place after the vulnerable teenager was held for six hours at a police station without an attorney, suffering from a medical condition. PTSD and no interpreter.
Welcome attorney Michael Polak QC, who is on her legal team, said: “This is an important moment, not only for our client, who has always maintained her integrity even while working. This makes it difficult for her not to be able to return home during the lengthy trial, but also to others around the world in similar positions.
“We have always maintained that our clients do not receive a fair trial and today the Supreme Court of Cyprus agreed with us.
“The important provisions of a fair trial, introduced to prevent the lapse of justice, were completely ignored in this case and a young and vulnerable woman was not only persecuted when she Reporting the rape to the Police and then being put on trial is clearly not fair as the Supreme Court has recognized.
“Throughout the trial, our clients were yelled at and treated with contempt, as were our brave female Cypriot lawyers, who continued to strive to provide supporting evidence. for our client’s case that a rape had occurred even as the Court continued to refuse to consider such evidence, with the Judge shouting ‘this is not a rape case’ at least 7 times during the proceedings.
“It became clear to watchers that the defense was fighting these proceedings with one hand tied behind his back, and we made the guilty verdict early in the trial before all the evidence was out. The evidence called up leading to the prosecution does not have to call any proof of what happened.
“As well as this presumption of guilt, expert evidence from clinical psychologist Dr Christine Tizzard, Forensic Linguist Dr Andrea Nini, and forensic pathologist Dr.
Mario Matsakis, all leaders in their fields, is completely ignored.
“Furthermore, the Court failed to take into account the failures of the Police investigation in this case, including the fact that the television staff were able to access the crime scene the next day, where they found saw related evidence that the Police had not yet collected, a failure to download data from a suspect’s phone, and the detention of suspects together rather than individually.
“We are pleased that our team has managed to ensure this outcome is up to the odds and believe that the next step for justice to be done in this case is a full review and investigation by a force Another police officer on a rape complaint filed by our client.
“We hope that important safeguards to ensure that something like this does not happen again in Cyprus, such as audio recordings or all interviews at police stations, have been put in place. discussed in the Cypriot Parliament, to be introduced as soon as possible.
“Finally, the family would like to thank all of their supporters from the UK, Israel and around the world. You have been their light during this terrible time in their lives. Thank you for your support in the fight for justice.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8290082/ayia-napa-gang-rape-brit-conviction-overturned/ Ayia Napa gang-rape Brit was convicted BACK after being found guilty of lying about hotel attack by 12 men