/British womans gang rape was closely followed by the accused Israeli youths family

British womans gang rape was closely followed by the accused Israeli youths family

The 12 alleged attackers with friends in high places: How arrest of Israeli youths over British woman’s gang rape accusation in Ayia Napa was followed closely back home

  • Mayor of Jerusalem is father to one of the Israeli youths accused of gang-rape
  • He visited Israel and showed interest when British victim said she was ‘coerced’
  • Admitted Aiya Napa behaviour was ‘morally wrong’ but claimed son’s innocence
  • Israeli minister for regional cooperation was a close friend to two lots of parents
  • He was ‘under the impression’ most of the boys were ‘seriously wronged’

The plight of 12 Israeli youths accused of gang-rape by a British girl in Cyprus was followed closely by those in high places in their homeland.

Soon after police arrived at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel in July, rounding up the suspects who would later be cleared, parents some 250 miles away grew increasingly concerned.

But some of the suspects have family friends in powerful positions. One of their fathers is an adviser to the mayor of Jerusalem, while an Israeli government minister has admitted being a close friend of the parents of two of the suspects. And on the very day the British woman says she was coerced into ‘confessing’ she had made up her rape claims, the Greek foreign minister was visiting Israel and seemingly taking an interest in the case.

Some of the accused men celebrate after being released from jail in Cyprus on July 28. The Mayor of Jerusalem is the father to one of the accused and on the very day the British woman says she was coerced into ‘confessing' she had made up her rape claims in Ayia Napa, he was visiting Israel and taking an interest in the case

Some of the accused men celebrate after being released from jail in Cyprus on July 28. The Mayor of Jerusalem is the father to one of the accused and on the very day the British woman says she was coerced into ‘confessing' she had made up her rape claims in Ayia Napa, he was visiting Israel and taking an interest in the case

Some of the accused men celebrate after being released from jail in Cyprus on July 28. The Mayor of Jerusalem is the father to one of the accused and on the very day the British woman says she was coerced into ‘confessing’ she had made up her rape claims in Ayia Napa, he was visiting Israel and taking an interest in the case

The mother of the British woman (pictured with her left) convicted of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus has called for tourists to boycott the country in protest. Israeli minister for regional cooperation was a close friend to two lots of the Israeli group of boys and admitted he was 'under the impression that most of the boys had been seriously wronged'

The mother of the British woman (pictured with her left) convicted of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus has called for tourists to boycott the country in protest. Israeli minister for regional cooperation was a close friend to two lots of the Israeli group of boys and admitted he was 'under the impression that most of the boys had been seriously wronged'

The mother of the British woman (pictured with her left) convicted of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus has called for tourists to boycott the country in protest. Israeli minister for regional cooperation was a close friend to two lots of the Israeli group of boys and admitted he was ‘under the impression that most of the boys had been seriously wronged’

Nikos Dendias met political leaders in Jerusalem and told reporters at a press conference: ‘I must say that the briefing here on everything that is happening in Cyprus is very important to us.’

The two countries share enormous economic interests, with a joint gas project on the Mediterranean island, and have many strategic ties too. Their alliance is seen as significant at a time of growing Turkish belligerence.

At the time of the arrests, the Israeli media followed the case closely.

Five of the boys were released a week after the incident, with Cypriot police saying there was no evidence they had been present. The other seven were released three days after that, on July 28, when the teenager retracted her allegation.

Their homecoming was heralded by champagne corks popping at Ben Gurion airport and chants of ‘the Brit is a whore’.

Two days later, the Mako news site in Israel revealed that the father of one of the boys was a senior adviser to the mayor of Jerusalem.

Some of the Israeli men who were initially accused of rape are seen arriving in court on July 25. The woman's family say police protected them and treated her as a criminal from the start

Some of the Israeli men who were initially accused of rape are seen arriving in court on July 25. The woman's family say police protected them and treated her as a criminal from the start

Some of the Israeli men who were initially accused of rape are seen arriving in court on July 25. The woman’s family say police protected them and treated her as a criminal from the start

The father flew to Cyprus and was quoted as saying that what had happened in the room was ‘a morally wrong thing for the boys – someone had to stop it’. However, he maintained that his son was innocent.

Meanwhile the Israeli minister for regional cooperation, Tzachi Hanegbi, said in an interview he was a close friend of the parents of two of the suspects and was ‘under the impression that most of the boys have been seriously wronged’. The 12 all received legal assistance from the Israeli consul in Cyprus, although this is not out of the ordinary.

The charges against the Israelis were dropped and they flew home to a heroes' welcome, drinking champagne at Tel Aviv airport and chanting 'the Brit is a whore'. Father and mayor Moshe Lion flew to Cyprus and was quoted as saying that what had happened in the room was ‘a morally wrong thing for the boys – someone had to stop it’ despite claiming his son's innocence

The charges against the Israelis were dropped and they flew home to a heroes' welcome, drinking champagne at Tel Aviv airport and chanting 'the Brit is a whore'. Father and mayor Moshe Lion flew to Cyprus and was quoted as saying that what had happened in the room was ‘a morally wrong thing for the boys – someone had to stop it’ despite claiming his son's innocence

The charges against the Israelis were dropped and they flew home to a heroes’ welcome, drinking champagne at Tel Aviv airport and chanting ‘the Brit is a whore’. Father and mayor Moshe Lion flew to Cyprus and was quoted as saying that what had happened in the room was ‘a morally wrong thing for the boys – someone had to stop it’ despite claiming his son’s innocence

There is no evidence that the Israeli government, which has close ties with the government in Nicosia, exerted more pressure than usual in a case in which Israeli citizens were arrested abroad.

Although a local paper described investigators as ‘Keystone Kops’, Cypriot officials backed the police decision to release the Israelis. Outside court, before the trial of the British woman had even begun, the then mayor of Ayia Napa, Yiannis Karoussos, had assumed her guilt, threatening to sue her for defamation.

 

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