Dominic Raab wants British teen in Cyprus gang-rape case back in UK
Dominic Raab speaks to mother of 19-year-old British teenager convicted of lying about Cyprus gang rape and says his priority is bringing her home to UK
- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has conveyed his concerns about treatment
- He said: ‘I have spoken to the lady’s mother to see what support we can provide’
- 19-year-old said she retracted her statement because of pressure from police
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has spoken to the mother of the British teenager who was convicted in Cyprus of lying about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli men and wants to bring her home so she can recover.
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Raab said: ‘I have conveyed our concerns about her treatment and the case to my Cypriot opposite number.
‘I did that on Friday and I have also spoken to the young lady’s mother to see what more support we can provide to her.’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has spoken to the mother of the British teenager who was convicted in Cyprus of lying about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli men and wants to bring her home so she can recover
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Raab said: ‘I have conveyed our concerns about her treatment and the case to my Cypriot opposite number’
A confession signed by a British student saying she invented a gang rape is ‘highly unlikely’ to have been composed by her, a respected linguist said
The 19-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she retracted her statement about the alleged rape only after pressure from detectives following ten hours of questioning which was not recorded or conducted in front of a lawyer.
According to respected linguist, Dr Andrea Nini, the woman’s written confession was much more likely to have been the words of a Cypriot policeman dictating what she should write.
In July, the 19-year-old, in her summer before university, went to police in party resort Ayia Napa to say she had been raped by up to 12 Israeli youths.
She retracted her statement ten days later – under duress, she says, after police on the island ‘threatened’ her.
The statement is the crux of a case that has sparked a diplomatic incident, with the teenager dragged to court and convicted of lying
But rather than being allowed home, she was hauled to court and charged with the crime of ‘public mischief’.
The girl’s shambolic trial, which has led to her being stranded on Cyprus, centred around the statement which she says Detective Sergeant Marios Christou forced out of her after eight hours of questioning without a lawyer.
Written in the woman’s handwriting, the disputed text contains sentences such as ‘The report I did…was not the truth,’ and ‘I discovered them recording me doing sexual intercourse’.
The teenager, from Derbyshire, says these are not her words but are ‘Greek English’ as it was told to her.
Dr Nini, who gave evidence to the trial on her behalf, said she would have to be a ‘criminal mastermind’ to fake the structure of sentences to make him believe they came from a ‘non-native English speaker’.
Pictured: A diagram illustrating bruising found on the teenager
The forensic linguist, who is registered as an expert adviser with the UK’s National Crime Agency, said there was ‘very compelling linguistic evidence’ the retraction was dictated by a non-English person.
Mr Raab added: ‘We also need to be careful that we don’t do anything which aggravates the situation between now (and) the date of sentencing, which is on Tuesday.
‘But the concerns that we have and that I have, have been squarely and firmly and categorically registered with the Cypriot authorities.’
Asked what he would do if he feels there has been a miscarriage of justice, Mr Raab added: ‘We don’t control the Cypriot justice system, they’re very sensitive in Cyprus about perceived political interference, but there are clear questions around the due process, the fair trial, safeguards that have applied in this case.
‘I’ve raised those with my Cypriot opposite number and will continue to talk about that, but ultimately my first priority, I think the first priority of the family will be to see this young lady released, come home safe and sound to this country to allow her to recover.
‘So that’s what we’re doing and we obviously need to handle this case very sensitively to make sure we don’t do anything counter-productive.’
The woman found herself in police custody and stranded on the Mediterranean island for five months charged with public mischief.
Pictured: Yona Golub, who claimed the 19-year-old student had turned his life into a nightmare
During her trial, Judge Michalis Papathanasiou, who reduced the woman to tears on a number of occasions, dismissed evidence put forward by UK experts that supported her claim of being attacked and ruled she ‘did not make a good impression, she did not tell the truth, and tried to mislead the court’.
He did not hear from any of the woman’s alleged attackers and was adamant he would not rule on whether she was raped or not, despite three men admitting they had sex with her.
Despite evidence of her body being covered in bruising that was consistent with having suffered a violent sexual assault, the judge said the marks could have been caused by jellyfish stings.
Some 35 bruises were found across the 19-year-old’s legs, arms and buttocks and marks were also found around her knees and eyes.
Bruises on the teenager’s torso are missing because, inexplicably, police took no pictures of her without her shirt on.
The girl’s mother says her daughter is suffering from PTSD caused by the months of her legal ordeal, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has voiced his ‘serious concerns’ over her treatment ahead of her sentencing on Tuesday.
Her psychologist, Dr Christine Tizzard, fears the teenager will be at a heightened risk of suicide if she is jailed this week, the Sunday Times reported.
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