Cyprus court adjourns case with Israeli defendants charged with raping British woman

The trial, scheduled to start on Thursday, was adjourned because key evidence was not presented to lawyers of the accused.

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A Cyprus court on Thursday adjourned the trial of five Israelis charged with raping a British woman pending the submission of material evidence by prosecutors.

Police arrested the five Israeli youths, aged 19 and 20, after a British woman reported they allegedly raped her after forcing her into a hotel room at the resort of Ayia Napa on Aug. 3. They have been in custody since.

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All five face six counts each of abduction, assault and rape. The trial, scheduled to start on Thursday, was adjourned because key evidence was not presented to lawyers of the accused.

Because that information was lacking, the five did not enter a plea.

That included a DNA report, photographic material, fingerprint reports and a statement from a sixth individual, one of the lawyers for the accused said.

“Before we have the whole picture of what my clients are facing they haven’t answered, they haven’t pleaded,” said lawyer Maria Neophytou, who represents three of the defendants. The lawyer for the other two men said his clients were not in the room when the alleged assault took place.

Relatives of the defendants crowded into the small courtroom in the town of Paralimni on Thursday, where the Criminal Court was in session.

Women’s advocacy groups are closely following the case due to the treatment of a British rape victim three years ago.

Last year, Cyprus’s Supreme Court acquitted a British woman who had been wrongfully convicted by a lower court of lying about being gang raped by 12 Israeli men in July, 2019.

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