A British university student convicted of ‘crying rape’ in Cyprus faces an agonising six-month wait to find out if her attempt to clear her name has been successful.
The 21-year-old’s lawyers appeared before the island’s Supreme Court yesterday to try to get her conviction overturned.
But the three appeal court judges reserved their decision, and while her lawyers said they were satisfied with the proceedings, they warned it could take up to six months for a judgment to be given.
The young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has maintained that she was gang-raped by up to 12 Israeli youths while on her summer break in a budget hotel in the resort of Ayia Napa in 2019 when she was 18.
Her legal team argued in court in the capital, Nicosia, that ‘all her rights were violated’ when local police interrogated her for more than six hours without access to a lawyer while her alleged attackers were set free.
They claimed she was bullied into signing a retraction statement, which was used to charge and eventually convict her of ‘public mischief’ at a shambolic trial in Cyprus.
After spending five weeks in prison and almost six months trapped on the island, the woman was given a suspended four-month jail sentence in January last year.
She vowed to clear her name and yesterday her legal team – led by campaign group Justice Abroad – argued in court that her conviction is unsafe and should be overturned.
If the appeal is unsuccessful, the woman’s legal team plan to take the case to the European Court of Human rights, which they say found against Cyprus after a teenager was brought into a police station in Limassol and separated from his father before confessing to murder without a lawyer.