Five Israeli men have been formally charged with gang-raping a British tourist in Cyprus and will face trial next month.
The group, all aged between 19 and 20, were detained after the woman complained to police that she had been attacked after a pool party at her three-star hotel earlier this month.
Officers quickly detained the men who were on holiday in the resort of Ayia Napa, in a case that has heartbreaking similarities to a 2019 incident, involving another British tourist who was gang-raped by a group of Israelis.
In the latest case, the five appeared before a packed court in Famagusta on Monday after being detained since the alleged rape and were told their trial would begin on October 5 in the presence of their families.
They are accused of rape, sexual assault by penetration, sexual intercourse by violence, rape by forcible sexual penetration, indecent assault against a woman, sexual harassment and kidnapping.
Five Israeli men have been formally charged with gang-raping a British tourist in Cyprus and will face trial next month. A police van carrying the men was shown last week.
The group, all aged between 19 and 20, were detained after the woman complained to police that she had been attacked after a pool party in Ayia Napa earlier this month (file image).
The Court has ordered their detention until Tuesday, pending a decision on whether to grant the prosecutor’s request to keep them in custody until the trial.
The five men deny raping the 20-year-old, who had identified four of them in a lineup before returning to the UK.
According to a leaked report, he had bruises and injuries consistent with an attack and the prosecutor read a statement from him about the horrific assault, which is too graphic to publish.
The court also heard that several staff had witnessed the aftermath of the alleged attack and would testify at the hearing, including how they saw the victim flee by climbing out of a window on the second floor of the Fedrania Gardens hotel.
The forensic search in the room where the attack occurred found traces of blood on the floor and on the bed sheets.
The men, who are all from the Israeli Arab town of Majd al-Krum near Acre, deny the charges and insist the sex was consensual.
The woman told police she had been forcibly taken to the hotel room after one of the men began flirting with her and then, after attacking her, the others joined in.
Solicitor Michael Polak of the Justice Abroad Campaign Group, which represents the woman and also acted for the 2019 victim, told MailOnline: “We are pleased that the case is progressing and look forward to a fair resolution.”
Yiannis Habaris, a lawyer for three of the five Israelis, speaks on his mobile phone outside the Famagusta district court in Paralimni, Cyprus, on Tuesday last week.
A family member of one in five Israelis covers his face with a bag as he leaves the Famagusta district court building in Paralimni, Cyprus, last week.
A police van carrying the five Israelis now accused of raping a British woman enters the car park of the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni, Cyprus, on Tuesday last week.
Earlier this month, the woman in the first case exclusively told MailOnline: ‘We send our sincerest support to the young woman who is at the center of these reports.
“We hope that the Cypriot authorities will not add insult to injury by blaming the victim, leading to preventive detention and unfair prosecution which was successfully appealed at great emotional and financial cost.”
“This was achieved with support from the UK media and politicians and with funds raised through GoFundMe and individual donors for whom we are particularly grateful.”
The young woman, now 22, had gone from victim to accused after police dismissed her claims, saying she had made them up, and she was eventually given a 16-week suspended sentence in January 2020 before the Supreme Court of Cyprus will annul the verdict.
The woman in the last case has created a Crowdfunding page to help pay legal costs. and has a target of £8,000 with a total of £840.