British woman appears in Cyprus court over alleged false rape accusation

A group of Israeli teenagers say they plan to sue a British woman who allegedly falsely accused them of gang-raping her and chanted “the Brit is a whore” after they were released and returned to Israel. 

The 19-year-old British woman was arrested by Cypriot police and appeared in court on Monday on suspicion of public mischief. She was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on Tuesday.

All 12 of the young Israelis have been released from police custody and there were scenes of celebration at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport as the last of the teenagers returned home on Sunday night. 

“The Brit is a whore,” some of the young men chanted, as they opened bottles of sparkling wine and embraced friends and family. 

“We will sue her for the anguish caused and for libel,” said Yona Gulub, one of the freed teenagers.

 

“I am walking in the street and people are calling me a rapist. I was with two friends who were arrested and they straight away arrested me too. I know my friends were in the room, but I wasn’t, I don’t know the girl.”

The British woman appeared in court with her head covered by a jumper and holding her mother’s hand. She listened to the proceedings with her head bowed, according to the Cyprus Mail, while her mother wept in the packed courtroom. 

The woman told Cypriot police in mid-July that she had gang raped by the Israelis at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel.

Her identity cannot be revealed because she is an alleged victim of sexual assault. However, Cypriot authorities will name her if she is convicted of making a false report. She could face a fine or prison time. 

The case has received vast media attention in both Israel and Cyprus. Many Israelis have rallied to support the young men but others have questioned a culture of alcohol-fueled trips to Cyprus that many teenagers make before their mandatory military service.  

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