The 19 year old British woman convicted of public mischief in the Ayia Napa rape claim case has appealed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring her home, the Sun newspaper reports.
The young woman says Cypriot police coerced her into retracting her allegation. She was found guilty of falsely claiming she had been gang raped by 12 Israelis in Ayia Napa last July. She is due to be sentenced on Tuesday. The offence carries a maximum penalty up to one year in jail and/or a fine of 1700 euro.
Through the Sun, she has urged the PM to personally step in so she can return to her family. Legal experts in the UK and Cyprus have asked that she be pardoned.
As pressure grew on No 10 to act, the teenager said: “Every second of this ordeal has been a waking nightmare. I’m 19 and all I want to do is clear my name and come home to my family. I would say to both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, both of whom are fathers, please support me with your actions, not just with your words. Time is running out for me. Please, please help.”
The Sun said that Foreign Office officials contacted the teenager’s family for the first time since last week’s ruling. Her family say they have still not had any personal contact from ministers or Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
The teenager’s mother has called on the UK government to give the same level of commitment that it showed over the death of Harry Dunn, who was killed after his motorbike was involved in a collision with a car driven by the wife of a US diplomat who claimed diplomatic immunity and left the UK.
The mother said: “My daughter welcomes the Foreign Office’s support but so far the British government has offered words and not action.
“My daughter and I have seen how the Prime Minister was recently personally prepared to push the US President for action in the tragic case of Harry Dunn. She would like the Prime Minister and Mr Raab to now show the same commitment.”
The UK needed to act immediately to provide support for her daughter, who is suffering post traumatic stress disorder, she added.
She added: “My daughter is a British citizen who has suffered so much already at the hands of the Cypriot judicial system and is in desperate need of medical support in the UK. I’ll judge them on their actions — but now is the time for urgency.”
The defendant insists she was bullied by Cypriot police into retracting a statement that accused 12 young Israelis of raping her at the resort of Ayia Napa.
She said officers questioned her aggressively for hours then made her sign a retraction that they dictated — without any lawyer present.
The case has attracted widespread media coverage in Britain, which accounted for a third of the 3.9 million tourists who visited Cyprus in 2018. The defendant’s mother has backed calls on social media for British holidaymakers to avoid the island.
“My personal view is that’s a good thing to do,” she said.