Twelve Israelis, some of them reportedly minors, who were arrested in Cyprus on suspicion of gang-raping a British tourist were brought for a remand hearing Thursday.
Earlier, DNA samples were taken from the suspects and their phones were confiscated amid suspicion they had filmed the alleged attack. The results of the DNA testing are expected within a week, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
While nine of those involved deny ever having met their accuser, three have admitted they did have sex with her but that it was consensual, an attorney for the suspects told media.
The 12 suspects were remanded in custody for a further eight days.
The Famagusta district court heard that the British tourist had scratches on her lower extremities. According to prosecutors, it was assessed that the injuries were deliberately inflicted, the Ynet news site reported.
The 19-year-old British women reportedly admitted that she became acquainted with one of the suspects in the days before the alleged rape and had sex with him on more than one occasion.
Parents and attorneys flew out to Cyprus to be with the suspects, some of whom are as young as 17.
As they were brought to the courthouse, the suspects saw their parents and shouted to them that local police were “abusing us” and that they had been beaten by them, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
The 12 were arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of raping the tourist in a hotel in the southeastern resort town of Ayia Napa. The arrests came after she filed a complaint with police.
The women claims the suspects held her down by her hands and forced themselves on her, despite her shouting at them to stop, Kan reported.
Hebrew-language media reported that some of the suspects were due to be inducted into the Israeli army in the coming days, including joining elite combat units.
“Out of the 12 arrested, there are three central suspects,” defense attorney Nir Yaslovitzh said to Channel 12 TV news. “Nine of the suspects claim ‘we aren’t involved’ and three claim ‘we had sex with her but it was consensual.'”
He said there is security camera footage of events from the evening when the alleged rape happened and police are reviewing the material.
Attorney Yaniv Habari, also representing the detained Israelis, told Channel 13 news “we will make quiet efforts to release some of the youths. The Cypriot police understand that some of them are minors and the sensitivity of the issue.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Cypriot law enforcement had allowed Israeli diplomats access to the suspects.