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A group of Israeli men were heard discussing a young British woman in an “aggressive way” on the night she said they gang-raped her in the tourist town of Ayia Napa, a Cypriot court hears.

The 19-year-old, who cannot be named, is charged with causing public mischief for allegedly making a false claim of being attacked in a hotel in July.

Twelve Israeli tourists were arrested but later freed after the woman retracted her allegation.

If found guilty, she could face jail.

Her defence lawyers said investigators had exerted pressure and threatened her and her friends with arrest. They insisted the retraction she made should not be admissible in her trial.

Cypriot authorities strongly deny that the retraction was coerced, saying the woman volunteered the statement in writing.

The woman’s legal team read a statement from an Israeli witness about the night she claims she was raped.

“They said they were going to stay in our flat because the English girl was coming there later,” it said.

“They were talking about it and laughing, saying they were going to do orgies with her.

“They were saying this in a very bad and aggressive way,” the statement said, adding they “looked like they were ready – all of them” to have sex with her that night.

The woman, dressed in a white sweater with her hair tied up, followed proceedings with the help of an interpreter.

She broke down at the end of the hearing as the judge raised his voice.

Missed out on university

Five Israelis were freed on 25 July after no evidence was found linking them to the case. The other seven were released three days later after police said the woman retracted the rape allegations.

The woman spent four-and-a-half weeks in prison before she was granted bail at the end of August.

She has had to surrender her travel documents to the police and remains on the island, supported by her family.

Before the court hearing, Michael Polak, of Justice Abroad, which is assisting in the woman’s legal defence, said: “She obviously just wants to go home.”

He said she had missed out on a place at university and was seeing a psychologist for post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the incident.

The case has been adjourned until 15 October.

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Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

 

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