A British tourist said she was pressured to retract her rape allegations against 12 Israeli men by the Cyprus police after they threatened to arrest her friends on conspiracy charges, a British tabloid, The Sun, reported on Monday.
Cyprus police released seven Israelis who were arrested on suspicion of gang raping of the 19-year-old woman last Sunday. The tourist was then arrested on suspicion of misleading authorities. All accusations against the group of 12 Israelis, five of whom were released two weeks ago, were dropped.
According to the British tabloid, the tourist said she was ordered to sign an admission saying she had “misled local authorities” with her allegations.
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Michael Polak, the woman’s attorney, said his client’s confession was extracted under pressure, The Sun reported.
“The confession was obtained under duress given the threats made. She was not cautioned and was not given access to a lawyer as was her right under the European Convention on Human rights,” Polak was quoted as saying by The Sun.
“Further, the teenager was not told she could leave the police station nor given the option of leaving at any point,” Polak said.
“It is also understood that unfortunately none of the proceedings at the Cypriot police station were recorded,” he added.
Responding to Haaretz’s inquiries on the matter, the Cyprus police denied the chain of events published by The Sun, calling it “unrealistic.”
The police added the investigation into the DNA sample taken from the complainant’s hotel room is still ongoing.
“The British tourist will appear before the court on Wednesday, where she can plead guilty or innocent [of falsely accusing the Israeli men]. Should we find the real video spread on social media [of her having sexual relations with some of the Israeli men], they would be suspected of distributing it. At the moment they are not suspects,” the police said.
On Tuesday, the tourist was indicted for public nuisance, could be sentenced to up to one year in prison or ordered to pay a fine.
Attorney Nir Yaslovitzh, who represented four of the Israeli men involved in the affair, said on Monday “the complainant is yet again changing her version of events like a chameleon changing its colors. Based on my knowledge of the Cypriot authorities, she is clearly lying and the court will say the same,” he said.
Cypriot media outlets reported the woman filed a false complaint because she was upset about being filmed while having consensual sex. Non-consensual documentation of sexual acts as well as its distribution is a criminal offence in Israel.