While a 19 year old British woman remains under arrest for making a false gang rape allegation, one of the defence lawyers spoke to Radio Active about how his Israeli clients were cleared of all charges and released.
Elias Stefanou represented three of the Israeli youths arrested in Ayia Napa as rape suspects and then released after nothing incriminating was found against them.
He said that some of the Israelis had been assaulted by Britons staying at the hotel who heard about the alleged gang rape that night.
They were terrified and hid in their rooms and it was in this state that police found them, reinforcing the woman’s claim.
Police arrested the 12 after asking one of the suspects who he was with the previous evening.
Stefanou said the Israelis and their families were very upset by the charges and unsure as to how the process would unfold. This was accentuated by a delay in the investigation because everything needed to be interpreted, not once but twice.
The statements of the first five were only completed on Thursday and the five were freed. The remaining seven remained in custody pending completion of examination of the telecommunications data and police questioning the woman a second time.
The lawyer said the woman changed her story when police pointed out contradictions between her first and second statements. In contrast to the woman, the statements given by the 12 youths were ‘compact’ and there was no contradiction between them.
The defence lawyer said his clients have not expressed any plans to take take legal steps for the time being. Two other lawyers told the Cyprus News Agency on Sunday their clients were considering suing their accuser.
He said there was not much scope to resolve the issue in civil court as the 19 year old is not wealthy and it would be difficult to seek compensation.
“In my view they should not seek compensation. What should be taken into consideration by the court if the woman is convicted are the consequences of her allegation on the young people and their families,” he said.