A British teenager will appeal against her conviction in Cyprus over a withdrawn allegation of gang rape, her lawyers said on Tuesday, as the British government said it had raised numerous concerns about her treatment with Cypriot authorities.
The 19-year-old was given a suspended sentence on Tuesday after being found guilty by a court in Cyprus on Dec. 30 of public mischief for having alleged that she had been raped by a group of Israeli youths in the holiday resort of Ayia Napa last July.
She says she was coerced by police into dropping the complaint. The case has caused outrage in Britain and sparked protests from activists who say the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, did not get a fair trial.
She had earlier been sentenced before a packed courtroom to four months in jail, suspended for three years.
Lawyers for the woman say they would press ahead with an appeal anyway because a pardon would not expunge her criminal record.
"The fight for her innocence will go on regardless," said Lewis Power, who was assisting the woman's local defense team. "We will maintain this young girl was stripped of her dignity and basic human rights."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pleased the woman could return home after being barred from leaving the island, a spokesman said, adding that Britain would work with Cyprus and other countries to ensure such a case could not happen again.
"We have had numerous concerns about the judicial process in this case and the woman's right to a fair trial and we have made these clear to the Cypriot authorities," the spokesman said.
Cypriot newspapers have reported that President Nicos Anastasiades might pardon the woman, although a senior government source told Reuters that was premature.