A BRITISH woman is set to face trial over a fake allegation claim in Cyprus after a judge rejected her claim that she retracted it under duress.
The 19-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will stand trial on a public mischief charge over her claim that she was gang-raped by 12 Israeli men in Ayia Napa.
The teen’s lawyers argued she had been forced to sign a retraction statement after eight hours in a police station and with no lawyers present.
However judge Michalis Papathansidi instead branded her an “unreliable witness” and ruled that the statement is admissible as evidence.
The judge told a courtroom in Famagusta today that detectives had acted properly in obtaining the retraction statement.
Judge Papathansidi said a welfare officer was present with the woman during her time at the police station and no pressure was put on her to withdraw the allegation.
Police had acted within their powers at all times, allowing the woman breaks to visit the toilet, giving her water and caring for her welfare, the court heard.
They said she had been embarrassed after discovering she had been filmed while having sex in her room and the footage had been posted online.
The judge ruled: “The statement was not taken under pressure or improper conditions. There was no aggression and no promise made to her. The statement was given wilfully. I don’t find anything suspicious.”
The judge also dismissed evidence from two expert witnesses who had spoken in the the young woman’s defence.
After giving his verdict the judge said the trial should immediately proceed and refused a plea from defence lawyer Ritsa Pekri for an adjournment.
The case will now proceed to trial after the issue of the retraction statement was settled in a procedure known as a “trial within a trial”.
Over four hearings, the Brit’s legal team had attempted to show that the statement should be thrown out because it was obtained under duress.
The statement was not taken under pressure or improper conditions. There was no aggression and no promise made to her. The statement was given wilfully. I don’t find anything suspicious
Judge Michalis Papathansidi
The 19-year-old initially told cops she had been attacked by up to 12 Israelis while on a working holiday in the party resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus last July.
The men were arrested but later freed without charge, and the woman went from victim to accused after detectives accused her of having changed her mind after having sex with the men.
Dr Andrea Nini, a linguistics expert from Manchester University, told the trial the retraction statement said to have been written by her was “not by someone whose first language is English”.
Last month, The Sun revealed the grammar and spelling mistakes in her statement which included the awkwardly written phrase: “I did sexual intercourse with them”.
Her joint Brit-Cypriot defence have argued the statement was coerced out of her by police and written by them while she was suffering from PTSD.
‘MORE GREEKLISH THAN ENGLISH’
Defence lawyer Michael Polak said: “My client has offers from three universities in Britain, is well educated and just would not have written a statement in such pidgin English.
“It’s more Greeklish than English. We say the evidence from Mr Nini supports what we have been saying all along that the statement was not written by a native English speaker.
“This is contrary to what the police say but Dr Nini was able to demonstrate to the court the wording of the statement was not structured as someone would who had English as their first language.”
Prosecutors then claimed the teenager willingly wrote and signed the document.
But the teenager said she was forced by police to change her story with the words dictated in ‘Greek English’ by Detective Sergeant Marios Christou.
She has been in Cyprus since July, has had to surrender her passport, and was initially held in jail before being granted bail.
The teenager denies public mischief but if convicted faces up to a year in jail, as well as a maximum fine of £100,000.
After hearing closing statements judge Andreas Papathanasiou adjourned the trial until November 28, when he will announce his verdict.
The woman’s family have set up a GoFundMe site to help pay the costs.
They yesterday revealed estimated costs for travel and legal help had jumped to £60,000, and have raised £42,000 already.