Israeli teens head to court in gang rape case

Clay Curtis
July 19, 2019

Israel's relations with the United Kingdom were under strain on Thursday after 12 Israeli men were arrested in Cyprus after a British woman alleged that she was gang-raped.

The alleged attack was said to have taken place in a hotel in the popular holiday resort of Ayia Napa.

Judge Tonia Nicolaou ruled that the suspects must remain in police custody for eight days. The custody hearing was closed to the public because one of them is a minor.

Israeli media reported that one suspect is aged 16, another 17. They embraced the handcuffed suspects as they arrived at the courthouse in shorts and T-shirts.

'The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossi Wurmbrand, is following developments and is in contact with the detainees, ' the department told The Times of Israel.

The teenagers, who were also on vacation in Ayia Napa prior to being inducted into the Israeli army, have not been charged yet but were brought before a district court in the town of Paralimni on Thursday.

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The 19-year-old British woman filed a complaint at a local police station on Wednesday morning saying she was gang-raped by the group of Israeli teens the previous night.

Meanwhile, Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos said on Cyprus state broadcaster RIK that tougher policing is needed in his town to prevent what he suggested was an atmosphere encouraging acts of lawlessness.

The British woman was examined by a medical doctor, who completed an exam and submitted the findings to police investigators.

Ayia Napa is popular with younger tourists for its pristine beaches and vibrant nightlife.

More than 1.3m British tourists visited Cyprus past year, according to Cyprus' statistical service.

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