British student, 19, who faces jail in Cyprus appeals to Boris Johnson ‘as a father’ to intervene and end her ‘waking nightmare’ over gang-rape claim in emotional interview as she says ‘Time is running out for me. Please, please help’
- The 19-year-old faces up to a year in prison over her rape claim in Ayia Napa
- Lawyers, campaigners and the FCO have all raised doubts about the verdict
- She has urged Boris Johnson and foreign secretary Dominic Raab to intervene
The British student convicted of lying about a rape allegation in Cyprus has urged Boris Johnson to intervene in her case.
The 19-year-old faces up to a year in prison after she was found guilty of ‘public mischief’ over her claim that 12 Israeli men gang-raped her in Ayia Napa.
Lawyers and campaigners have raised doubts about the verdict after the teenager, who intends to appeal, said she was forced to sign a retraction statement by Cypriot police.
The Foreign Office says the UK is ‘seriously concerned’ about the fairness of the woman’s trial and it is understood officials have raised the ‘deeply distressing case’ with the Cypriot authorities.
Speaking to The Sun, the British woman called on the PM and foreign secretary Dominic Raab to intervene personally.
The British woman who claimed she was gang-raped by 12 Israeli men in Cyprus arrives at Famagusta District Court in Cyprus on Monday
‘Every second of this ordeal has been a waking nightmare,’ she said.
‘I’m 19 and all I want to do is clear my name and come home to my family.
‘I would say to both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, both of whom are fathers, please support me with your actions, not just with your words. Time is running out for me. Please, please help.’
The woman has been on bail since the end of August, after spending a month in prison, and could face up to a year in jail and a €1,700 euro £1,500 fine when she is sentenced on January 7.
The teenager’s mother has said she would ‘definitely’ like Mr Raab to intervene in the case.
She told BBC Radio 4 earlier this week: ‘I would love the Foreign Secretary to get involved, that would be fantastic.’
The British student convicted of lying about a rape allegation in Cyprus has urged Boris Johnson (pictured) to intervene in her case
The mother said they will be appealing against the verdict ‘without question’ and hoped the FCO could help them progress the case to the Cypriot Supreme Court.
A number of prominent legal figures in Cyprus have written to attorney general Costas Clerides urging him to intervene in the case.
But the government of Cyprus has said it has ‘full confidence in the justice system and the courts’.
The attorney general said on Tuesday that he could not suspend the trial because she had levelled ‘grave accusations’ against police investigators that had to be adjudicated in court.
Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said he believed the woman had made false allegations because she felt ’embarrassed’ after realising she had been filmed having sex in a video found on some of the Israelis’ mobile phones.
‘The defendant gave police a false rape claim, while having full knowledge that this was a lie,’ he said.
‘There was no rape, or violence, and police had carried out a thorough investigation making all necessary arrests.’