Cyprus trial of 5 Israelis accused of gang-raping British woman to start next month

File - The police van carrying the five Israelis who are accused of raping a British woman, arrives at the Famagusta District Courthouse in Paralimni, Cyprus, on September 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
File - The police van carrying the five Israelis who are accused of raping a British woman, arrives at the Famagusta District Courthouse in Paralimni, Cyprus, on September 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — The trial of five Israelis accused of gang-raping a British woman in a Cyprus hotel room is scheduled for next month, when they will enter pleas to charges including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and abduction, Cypriot police say.

Police say the trial will begin October 5. Defense lawyers object to a prosecution request for the suspects to remain in custody until then. A Famagusta District court judge is to rule tomorrow on whether to keep the suspects in detention or release them.

Yannis Habaris, a lawyer representing three of the suspects, says there are “many contradictory” points which “undermine the veracity of the claims” in the alleged victim’s statement to police.

Habaris says his clients will plead not guilty to the charges because “as things now stand, we don’t think that any crime has been committed.”

Lawyers representing the other two suspects don’t immediately respond to attempts for comment.

A police investigator said last week that the 20-year-old British woman picked the five Israelis — three aged 19 and two aged 20 — out of a lineup as having raped her during a hotel pool party in the coastal resort town of Ayia Napa.

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