9 of the 12 Israelis in Suspected Gang Rape of a U.K. Tourist Are Minors, Cyprus Police Say

Local police source says videos of incident were found on suspects' phones ■ Different source indicates some of the suspects may be released soon if they present a solid alibi

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Israeli men suspected of raping a British tourist are brought to court to extend their remand, Cyprus, July 18, 2019.
Israeli men suspected of raping a British tourist are brought to court to extend their remand, Cyprus, July 18, 2019. Credit: AFP
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

AYIA NAPA – Nine of the 12 Israelis involved in the suspected gang rape of a 19-year-old British tourist in Cyprus are minors, according to a local police source.

The source added that police found footage of the incident on some of the suspects' mobile phones.

"The matter is under investigation, only at the end of which we will be able to say which charges each suspect is facing," another local police source told Haaretz.

The source added that police are looking for eyewitnesses of the rape and were waiting to collect additional evidence, such as footage from security cameras.

According to another source involved in the investigation, if the alibi presented by the suspects is sufficiently solid, some of them may be released before their eight days of detention end.

All but one of the suspects are from three different groups of tourists, one from Jerusalem, one from Afula and one from Haifa's Krayot suburbs. They are being held in five different locations: One of the suspects is under arrest in Nicosia, three are held in Limassol, two more are detained in Larnaca and two others are in Ayia Napa.

The suspects – aged 16 to 19 – are represented by several groups of attorneys, who have been replaced a few times.

On Thursday, a Cyprus court extended the suspects' remand by eight days. Channel 13 News reported on Thursday that a police representative said during a court hearing held to discuss extending the suspects' remand that the rape continued even after the British tourist asked her attackers to stop.

The hotel room where the rape of a British tourist by Israeli suspects allegedly took place.Credit: Noa Shpigel

The police representative was quoted as saying: "After a conversation between the complainant and one of the suspects, they decided to move to the hotel room. The suspect was violent toward the complainant, she asked him to stop and started crying. Despite that, instead of stopping he ignoring her requests and continued to have sex with her against her will."

The tourist said she had consensual sex with one the suspects prior to the rape, but didn't know most of her assailants, according to Channel 13 News.

The Israelis were arrested in the resort town Ayia Napa on Wednesday.

The court decided on Thursday to extend the men's remand by eight days, while local media reported that the woman is expected to undergo further medical examinations.

During the court hearing, a representative of the local police said the men continued raping the tourist while she resisted them, citing her testimony.

The tourist told the police: "When I entered the room at midnight everybody was drunk, everything is blurry to me now. But I do remember that by 1 A.M., men I hadn't known before raped me."

Channel 12 News quoted on Thursday the court document ordering that the suspects' remand be extended. According to the report, the document read: "At one point suspect 1 invited his friends to enter the room. Then 12 people entered the room and stood around the bed."

According to the court document, the tourist eventually fled the room naked. Israeli news site Ynet reoirted that bruises were seen on the complainant's lower body.

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