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Monday 19 August 2019

British woman arrested after Cyprus police dismiss rape claim

A lawyer said seven Israeli teenagers detained as suspects over the alleged incident in Ayia Napa will now be released.

Israeli teenagers are embraced by relatives after being released from Famagusta police HQ in the town of Paralimni in south-east Cyprus (Petros Karadjias)
Israeli teenagers are embraced by relatives after being released from Famagusta police HQ in the town of Paralimni in south-east Cyprus (Petros Karadjias)

By Associated Press Reporters

A British woman who claimed she was raped in Cyprus has been arrested after investigators dismissed her allegations.

Seven Israeli teenagers who were being detained as suspects over the alleged incident at a hotel in the party resort of Ayia Napa have been released.

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Some of the Israeli teenagers are embraced by relatives after being released from Famagusta police HQ in the town of Paralimni in south-eastern Cyprus (Petros Karadjias/AP)

Yiannis Habaris, who represents two of the seven Israelis, said that the 19-year-old British woman has been arrested and faces a public nuisance charge.

He said investigators questioning the teenager had concluded that her allegations “didn’t stand to reason”.

Mr Habaris said police had earlier provided DNA samples to Israeli authorities to locate three individuals who may have been implicated in the case but, with the case collapsing, that assistance is no longer necessary.

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Relatives greet the Israeli teenagers after their release (Petros Karadjias/AP)

Cypriot authorities initially arrested 12 Israelis on July 17 following the rape allegation. Five of them were released on Thursday.

The state-run Cyprus News Agency reported that the woman allegedly told investigators she filed a rape report because she was “angry and insulted” that some of the Israelis allegedly recorded video of her having consensual sex with a number of them.

The woman has a custody hearing scheduled for Monday.

Mr Habaris and another defence lawyer, Nir Yavlovitzh, told reporters they intend to sue the young woman on behalf of those she accused, who were detained for 11 days.

“We will proceed with legal action against the individual that made the false allegations, for damages, for every day and every moment they were in prison falsely,” Mr Habaris said.

Mr Yavlovitzh said the seven ranged in age from 15 to 18 and the young woman “needs to think clearly about what she (did) to the boys who stayed in jail”.

The Israelis’ parents wept and were “shocked” when they learned on Sunday morning that their sons would be freed from police district headquarters in the town of Paralimni, according to Mr Yaslovitzh.

Jubilant relatives greeted them with hugs and kisses as they were released later in the day.

“I feel great. The truth came out and I am happy,” one of them said.

Investigators told a Paralimni court during a custody hearing on Friday that the British woman was in a relationship with one of the seven suspects and had sexual contact with several of the other six over several days, Mr Habaris said earlier.

The 12 Israelis had come to Cyprus in three separate groups, some for a vacation before being inducted into the army, and did not know each other.

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