THE UK teenager facing jail in Cyprus after she was convicted of a fake gang-rape claim today begged Boris Johnson: “Please bring me home.”
The 19-year-old, who says Cypriot police coerced her into retracting her allegation, urged the PM to personally step in so she can return to her family.
As pressure grew on No 10 to act, the teenager said: “Every second of this ordeal has been a waking nightmare.
“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.”
Foreign Office officials today contacted the teenager’s family for the first time since a Cypriot judge last week ruled she was guilty of “causing public mischief”.
He rejected her claims that police coerced her into retracting the gang rape allegation.
Her family say they have still not had any personal contact from ministers or Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
‘WORDS AND NOT ACTION’
The mum said: “My daughter welcomes the Foreign Office’s support but so far the British government has offered words and not action.
“My daughter and I have seen how the Prime Minister was recently personally prepared to push the US President for action in the tragic case of Harry Dunn.
“She would like the Prime Minister and Mr Raab to now show the same commitment.”
The mum said the UK needed to act immediately to provide support for her daughter, who is suffering post traumatic stress disorder.
She added: “My daughter is a British citizen who has suffered so much already at the hands of the Cypriot judicial system and is in desperate need of medical support in the UK.
‘TIME FOR URGENCY’
“I’ll judge them on their actions — but now is the time for urgency.”
The teenager, from Derbyshire, insists she was bullied by Cypriot police into retracting a statement that accused 12 young Israelis of raping her at the resort of Ayia Napa.
She said officers questioned her aggressively for hours then made her sign a retraction that they dictated — without any lawyer present.
The teenager has been a virtual prisoner on the island since July. She spent four weeks in jail on remand before being released under house arrest.
Despite concerns about the police investigation, her trial went ahead after months of legal wrangling and delay.
Judge Michalis Papathanasiou dismissed expert defence witnesses as “unreliable” and refused to even allow the crucial fact of whether or not she had been raped to be discussed.
He finally declared her guilty — triggering outrage both in the UK and in Cyprus. She is due to be sentenced on Tuesday and could face up to a year in jail.
Two ex-Cypriot Attorney Generals and a former Justice Minister say the verdict must be overturned.
They wrote to current Attorney General Costas Clerides, asking him to intervene.
Cyprus’s UK ambassador was also summoned to an interview by officials here.
The girl’s mum said: “When two former Cypriot Attorney Generals state ‘considerable damage’ has been done to their nation because of my daughter’s treatment, that should tell you everything.
“My daughter has gone from victim to accused, pursued mercilessly by a system that appears desperate not to lose face. It is no accident the watching world has begun to lose faith in Cyprus because of this kangaroo court.
“We await sentence with little hope and few expectations.
“But my daughter remains stronger than you will ever know because of the incredible support she’s received.
“That outweighs the outrageous injustice we’ve seen.”
The teenager was on a working holiday at an Ayia Napa hotel when the alleged attack took place.
She had begun a relationship with one of the Israelis a few days before.
They were having consensual sex in a hotel room — but she says she begged him to stop when he became violent. She said his friends then burst into the room and raped her.
She eventually fled naked and found a friend who took her to a medical centre.
The teenager subsequently made her initial allegation of gang rape.
Police arrested the 12 Israelis, aged between 16 and 19 — but later released them.
The teenager said she was coerced into signing a retraction after she was invited back to the police station to make a witness statement.
Once there, even though she was still feeling the effects of powerful medication, she says she was questioned for eight hours with no lawyer.
She said she repeatedly refused to sign a retraction that had been dictated by a police officer.
But eventually, exhausted and disorientated, she agreed after being told she would then be released.
But once she signed at 2.30am she was arrested and put in a cell. None of the police interviews were recorded or videoed.
Texts the girl sent to friends just before she was charged corroborate her account.
In them she said: “It’s crazy. They wouldn’t let me talk to anyone. I said I have a right to have a lawyer here.
“Not in Cyprus, maybe the UK not Cyprus. They’ve honestly made me sign false . . .”
The exchange then suddenly ended.
The Israelis were allowed to fly home to Tel Aviv. A grainy “sex tape” from the night was leaked to the Israeli media.
10 justice failures
- THE POLICE: The 12 Israelis were allowed legal representation from the beginning — but the teenager had no lawyer when questioned nor when she signed a retraction. Her eight-hour police interview was not recorded by detectives.
- THE JUDGE: Judge Michalis Papathanasiou terrorised the teenager — yelling at her: “Show respect! You must respect this court!”
- DELAYS: The teenager was accused of the minor crime of public mischief. But a case that should have taken days dragged on for five months.
- BAIL: Even though she first appeared in court at the end of July, she was not given bail until the end of August and so spent a month in a cell.
- PTSD: The judge did not take account that the teenager was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from her rape ordeal.
- WITNESSES: The judge dismissed all of the defence witnesses, including a forensic expert, claiming they were “unreliable”.
- LAWYERS: When the case began the teenager’s Cypriot lawyer Andreas Pittadjis tried to discourage interest in the case by telling journalists: “It’s not a big story.” He was sacked by the teenager’s family.
- RAPE CLAIM: The judge repeatedly refused to hear evidence about whether any rape took place. Campaigners say this turned the trial into a farce.
- THE MAYOR: After the first court hearing on July 26 the Mayor of Ayia Napa, Yiannis Karoussos, threatened to sue the teenager for defamation unless she apologised for claiming she had been raped. At that point she had not even entered a plea.
- TRAVESTY: Ex-MP Ann Clwyd says: “It looks like a travesty of justice. It seems to be far from fair.” Three ex-Cypriot justice ministers agree. They want the teenager pardoned.