British woman’s statement retracting claim she was gang-raped in Cyprus is ‘highly unlikely’ to have been written by an English-speaker, expert says, as she denies lying about attack
- Forensic linguist Dr Andrea Nini will back the 19-year-old woman’s case
- He is set to testify via video link in order to rule her statement is inadmissible
- Prosecutors claim the teenager willingly wrote and signed the document
- Woman says she was forced by police to change her story earlier this year
The 19-year-old (right) is currently on trial charged with public mischief – new evidence could show her redaction letter to be inadmissible
The statement of a British woman which retracts claims she was gang-raped in Cyprus was ‘highly unlikely’ to have been written by a native English speaker, an expert has claimed.
The 19-year-old is currently on trial charged with public mischief after allegedly making up the attack on July 17 at an Ayia Napa hotel.
After her initial claims, a dozen Israeli tourists were arrested, but were released 10 days later after she made a retraction statement.
Now a forensic linguist claims she couldn’t have penned the letter, and will testify in order to rule the statement is inadmissible.
Prosecutors claim the teenager willingly wrote and signed the document.
But the woman says she was forced by police to change her story with the words dictated in ‘Greek English’ by Detective Sergeant Marios Christou.
Lawyer Michael Polak, director of the group Justice Abroad, which is assisting the teenager, said an 18-page report by forensic linguist Dr Andrea Nini will back her case.
‘He’s done a mathematical analysis of the words in her statement and concluded it’s highly unlikely they would be the words of a native English speaker rather than someone who speaks English as a second language,’ Mr Polak said.
Lawyer Michael Polak (pictured above) said the expert could prove the 19-year-old’s statement was written by someone else
The statement says it was written ‘on [the teenager’s] own free will’ and that she ‘discovered them recording [her] doing sexual intercourse’.
Giving evidence in mid-October, she said: ‘I’m very well educated. I’m going to university, I got an unconditional offer so there is no way I would write a paragraph like this.’
The woman’s lawyers will ask Judge Michalis Papathanasiou to hear University of Manchester lecturer Dr Nini’s evidence by video-link at a court in Larnaca on Friday as part of a bid to persuade him to rule the retraction statement is inadmissible.
The judge is also expected to hear from a forensic psychologist, who will give evidence about the teenager’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how it affects her in stressful situations.
The teenager was a week into a working holiday before she was due to start university when she alleged she was raped by the group of young Israeli men.
She spent more than a month in prison before she was granted bail at the end of August, but cannot leave the island, having surrendered her passport.
She could face up to a year in jail and a 1,700 euro (£1,500) fine if she is found guilty.
The teenager’s family have set up a crowdfunding page asking for money for legal costs, which has raised more than £40,000.
The trial is expected to continue on Friday after being twice adjourned in October.
It is likely to be adjourned again before a decision is made on the admissibility of the teenager’s retraction statement.