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British teen pleads not guilty to public mischief charge; trial to start on October 2

A  19 year old British woman pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to causing public mischief by making a false rape allegation against 12 Israelis in Ayia Napa and will stand trial on October 2.

She has been released on bail pending the trial.

The woman appeared before Famagusta District Court on Tuesday accompanied by her lawyers, Nicoletta Charalambidou and two British lawyers Michael Polak and Lewis Power.

The defence will seek to prove that her statement in which she retracted a claim that she had been raped by 12 Israeli teens in a hotel room at Ayia Napa was made under duress and in breach of her rights.

The court also heard that defence will be writing to the attorney general asking that he suspend the charges.

A crowdfunding appeal to pay for her legal fees has so far raised £23,556 of the £50,000 target.

Today’s development is the latest twist in a story that first started in July when the young British woman reported to police that she had been gang raped.

They were arrested and remanded in custody. Five were released when nothing incriminating was found against them, and the remaining seven after police said the British woman had changed her statement and admitted that the allegation she had made was fake.

The woman was then remanded in custody to face charges of public mischief.

She later changed her legal counsel. The new lawyers said that her new statement was taken under duress.

“In the early hours of Sunday the 28th of July 2019, following a week of traumatic events, our daughter was arrested for allegedly making a false allegation of rape in Cyprus and is currently being detained in prison awaiting trial,” the family said on a crowdfunding page.

“We maintain that the statement was given under duress and in breach of her rights, resulting in the collapse of the initial investigation and charges of public mischief being made against her. She is alone in a prison abroad after an awful series of events, we just want to bring her home,” they added.

“We are seeking funds to pay for the required legal representation in Cyprus. The organisation Justice Abroad has already been providing assistance within the UK. They are bringing together an expert legal team, from both the UK and Cyprus, to challenge the many breaches of her rights and require funds to do so,” they said.

In an updated post on the same page yesterday, the family added: “Justice Abroad have brought together the legal team they believe are best placed to challenge the process and circumstances that resulted in the charges brought against our daughter. Through this process, the expected budget has been increased to £50,000 to cover the additional legal and technical expertise necessary to review the evidence and robustly challenge it through the Courts.

In a separate development, Israeli police are reportedly examining the possibility of launching a criminal investigation for possible revenge porn by  the Israeli teenagers initially arrested on suspicion of raping the woman and later released.

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