A British woman found guilty of fabricating a claim that she was gang-raped in a holiday resort in Cyprus has expressed relief.
“This is a watershed moment,” said Michael Polak of the legal aid group Justice Abroad, who had coordinated the appeal against the conviction. “Not just for our client who has always maintained her innocence even when doing so caused her the hardship of not being able to return home during the lengthy trial proceedings, but also for others round the world in similar positions.”
The verdict, he said, had been achieved “against the odds”.
In a statement to British media, her mother said: “It is a great relief we hear that the authorities in Cyprus have recognised the flaws in their legal process. Whilst this decision doesn’t excuse the way she was treated by the police, or the judge or those in authority, it does bring with it the hope that my daughter’s suffering will at least bring positive changes in the way victims of crime are treated.”
Polak said he was pleased with the result, but he told the Guardian that for justice to be properly rendered a fresh investigation of the rape complaint would need to be conducted.
“We want the investigation to be transferred to a different police force so that all the evidence in this case can be considered fairly and dispassionately,” he said. “Cypriot authorities now have a duty to properly investigate the rape complaint because it is clear that was never done.”