British Woman: Cyprus Cops Wrote Retraction of Rape Complaint Against 12 Israelis

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A 19-year old British woman covers her face, as she leaves the Famagusta court in Paralimni, Cyprus, on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.
A 19-year old British woman covers her face, as she leaves the Famagusta court in Paralimni, Cyprus, on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.Credit: Petros Karadjias,AP

The 19-year-old British woman charged in Cyprus with falsely accusing Israeli men of rape said under cross-examination Wednesday that police investigators yelled at her to sign a false confession they had written themselves.

She accused one of the police investigators, Detective Sergeant Marios Christou, of shouting at her and making her cry, and said she had felt threatened.

The woman said police took a number of statements from her and acted properly – but on the evening she signed a statement saying she had made up the rape, the investigators questioned her for eight hours without the presence of a defense lawyer. “The officer said he had spoken to the Israelis and he had agreed that they would go home and I would go home and that would be the end of it,” she said.

The prosecution showed her a statement she signed, written in English, retracting the rape accusations, and she said she signed a lot of documents under duress without seeing what was written on them. She admitted she had signed the statement, but said police had dictated it to her and that it was in ungrammatical English, adding that she was a “very well-educated person” and “there’s no way I would write something like this.”

“There is not one sentence that an English person would write. It does not make grammatical sense,” she told the court.

Prosecutor Adamos Demosthenous tried to undermine her version of the events with a group of Israeli teenage boys in a hotel in the resort town of Ayia Napa. She testified on Tuesday that she was indeed raped by them.

The questioning focused on whether the woman is suffering from post-traumatic stress. The prosecutor told the court in Paralimni, a town a few miles from Ayia Napa, that the woman was not suffering from PTSD and is not taking medications. He even confronted her with a text message she sent her mother during the interrogation, in which she wrote: “calm down, I’m OK.”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court she was under pressure, taking medication and had gone through a traumatic ordeal. She said she had written her mother that she was okay because she wanted to avoid alarming her, after she had already written her messages that she was afraid for her life. “I said I was OK even though I wasn’t just so she would not freak out,” she said.

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