A court has decided that five Israeli tourists will face trial next month for allegedly participating in the gang rape of a young British woman in the popular Cyprus holiday destination of Ayia Napa. The five individuals, aged between 19 and 20, are scheduled to appear in a criminal court on October 5. They are facing multiple charges including rape, sexual coercion, forced sexual intercourse, sexual harassment, abduction, and indecent assault against the victim.

These five suspects have been in police custody since September 4, following a complaint by a 20-year-old British tourist who reported being gang-raped in a hotel room the day before. On Tuesday, the court will decide whether to grant a prosecution request to keep the suspects in police custody until the trial date or to release them on conditional bail.

In a previous incident in Ayia Napa four years ago, 12 Israeli individuals were arrested after a teenage British girl reported an attack. However, the Israelis were released when the girl retracted her statement, citing alleged police pressure. The girl herself was convicted in 2020 for causing public mischief and received a four-month suspended jail sentence. In 2022, her conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court on appeal, with defense lawyers arguing that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. Subsequently, the police announced they would investigate potential errors in the initial investigation.

The new case has been taken on by UK-based Justice Abroad, which successfully appealed the previous conviction, at the request of the victim’s family. Official tourism statistics for August reveal that Israelis were the second-largest group of visitors to Cyprus, accounting for 14.9 percent, with Britons being the largest group at 35.9 percent.

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