The mother of a British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has described the verdict as “absolutely astonishing”.
She said the family are “very disappointed” after the 19-year-old was convicted of public mischief on Monday.
The judge said the young woman invented claims she had been raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in an Ayia Napa hotel room because she was “embarrassed” after finding out she was filmed having sex.
Her mother told ITV News: “It’s a bit of a nightmare. I find myself kind of unable to believe the violations of human rights she’s experienced throughout the whole affair, particularly things like having no access to lawyers whilst being interrogated for hours on end over a Saturday night. I think that’s very bizarre.
“It’s also astonishing to me that the Israelis that were originally accused of the crime had legal representation within a matter of hours, whereas my daughter wasn’t offered legal representation at all throughout the whole thing. She asked for a lawyer, didn’t get one… so, absolutely astonishing verdict, really.”
The teenager faces up to a year in jail when she is sentenced on January 7.
She is on bail but cannot leave the island, having already been held for around a month in prison on remand.
Her mother said: “It would be an absolute injustice if they decided to imprison her for any more days, she’s already spent four and a half weeks in prison, actually in prison with prisoners that were guilty of crimes and so on, and she has spent nearly six months in Cyprus unable to have any kind of life, any kind of social life.
“OK, so she’s not in prison but she’s still effectively in a gilded cage.”
The teenager’s lawyers have said they will appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court in Cyprus and in the European Court of Human Rights if that fails.
Her mother said: “She is resolute to see justice, she’s absolutely resolute that she’ll fight it, she wants to appeal and I will fully support her 100%, as will her lawyers, so we’ll continue on with appeal and go down that route – if we end up in the European Court of Human Rights, that’s great.”
She said her daughter is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which cannot be treated in Cyprus.
“She’s not in a good way and she seriously needs to get back to the UK so she can get some medical help, that’s my overriding issue at the moment.”
The UK is “seriously concerned about the fair trial guarantees” in the “deeply distressing case” and spokesman for the Foreign Office added it will be raising the issue with the Cypriot authorities.