British teen at centre of rape trial could be forced to remain in Cyprus for months as trial adjourned

Press Association
Twelve Israeli tourists, suspected of raping a 19-year-old British girl in Ayia Napa, were released - AFP

A British teenager accused of lying about being gang raped by Israeli tourists could be forced to remain in Cyprus for months after her trial was adjourned.

The 19-year-old, who cannot be identified, had hoped her case would come to end this week, but was left "upset" on Thursday after it was halted for the second time this month.

Michael Polak, director of the group Justice Abroad, which is assisting the teenager, said: "She was obviously upset as regards to the latest adjournment, she wants to get home as soon as possible, but she also wants justice to be done, so she is determined to stay here until this happens."

He said the case could go on until Christmas but added: "We're hoping it will be all finished this year."

She is accused of causing public mischief by falsely claiming she was raped by up to 12 young Israeli men in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on July 17.

The teenager maintains she was telling the truth but was forced by police to make a retraction statement 10 days later fearing she would be kidnapped or killed.

Prosecutors deny she was coerced and say she willingly wrote and signed the document.

The young woman's legal team wants Judge Michalis Papathanasiou to rule the retraction statement is inadmissible.

His decision was delayed after a forensic psychologist, instructed by the defence, was unavailable to give evidence in person, and the trial at Famagusta District Court in Paralimni was adjourned until November 1.

The psychologist will give evidence by video-link at Larnaca District Court.

The judge could adjourn the case again and, depending on his ruling, may hear further evidence before the end of the trial.

The teenager was a week into a working holiday before she was due to start university when she alleged she was raped by the Israelis.

She spent more than a month in prison before she was granted bail at the end of August, but cannot leave the island, having surrendered her passport.

She could face up to a year in jail and a 1,700 euro (£1,500) fine if she is found guilty.

The 12 Israeli men returned home after they were released.

The teenager's family have set up a crowdfunding page asking for money for legal costs, which has raised nearly £39,000.