Cypriot police said set to charge at least 3 Israeli teens in gang rape case
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Cypriot police said set to charge at least 3 Israeli teens in gang rape case

Probe leader visits hotel crime scene to get list of guests on day of incident, after 3 new DNA samples found on alleged victim don’t match any of currently detained suspects

Two of the 12 Israelis suspected of gang raping a British tourist cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in the town of Paralamni, Cyprus, on July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Two of the 12 Israelis suspected of gang raping a British tourist cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in the town of Paralamni, Cyprus, on July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Cypriot police on Saturday were reportedly expecting to charge at least three of the Israeli suspects in the case of the alleged gang rape of a British teenage tourist at a hotel room last week.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told Israel’s Channel 12 news that “there is no doubt” Cypriot authorities will indict at least three of the Israeli teens whose DNA had been found at the scene, though he did not say what the charges would be. Two other suspects will likely be released in the coming days, according to the report, while there was no word on the two remaining suspects.

Twelve Israeli youth were initially arrested in the case, but five of them were released on Thursday due to a lack of evidence tying them to the crime.

In addition to the three detained suspects whose DNA had been found at the scene, police believe three more individuals currently not under arrest may have been involved in the alleged brutal sex crime — with analysis of DNA collected from the alleged victim’s body showing three unrecognized samples.

Consequently, the head of the investigation arrived at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel on Saturday in order to request records showing which guests who stayed at the hotel on the night of the incident checked out the next day, Hebrew media reported. Local Authorities believe the additional suspects at large are also Israelis.

Suspects cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in Paralamni, Cyprus, July 26, 2019 (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Also on Saturday, police asked the alleged victim, who while no longer hospitalized, has remained in Cyprus as the investigation has developed, to provide additional testimony. Channel 13 reported that the 19-year-old will also be asked to identify her alleged attackers in a photo line-up. With no security camera footage found at the scene, considerable weight is believed to have been placed on her testimony in addition to the forensic evidence.

On Friday, Channel 12 reported that Cypriot police officers were expected to fly to Israel and request travel agencies hand over lists of tourists who stayed at the hotel at the time of the alleged attack. They may then seek to obtain DNA samples from those individuals with the help of Israeli police and check them against the crime scene evidence.

A court in Cyprus on Friday remanded for six more days seven Israelis arrested in connection with the alleged attack, a day after other five suspects were released from custody.

In this file photo taken on September 7, 2017, tourists sunbathe at the beach in the resort town of Ayia Napa in southeastern Cyprus. (Florian Choblet/AFP)

One or two of the suspects in detention may be offered immunity from prosecution if they provide information on suspects still being sought, Channel 13 news reported Friday evening.

However, Channel 12 on Saturday quoted a source with knowledge of the probe that said Cypriot authorities were not planning on offering anything to the current suspects, noting that the tactic is not used as frequently in Cyprus as it is in Israel.

The 12 Israelis were arrested in the resort town of Ayia Napa last week on suspicion that they took part in the gang rape. Some have reportedly admitted to having consensual sex with the woman, while others are thought to have possibly been present in the room at the time.

The British woman filed a police complaint last Wednesday against the Israelis, ranging in age from 15 to 18, who were staying at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel on the island nation’s southeastern coast.

The woman told the police two of the suspects held her down by the arms as she cried to be let go. She said that their friends then raped her, taking turns, and that several beat her.

Haaretz reported that police found five used condoms and 13 condom wrappers in the room where the alleged rape occurred.

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