A British teenager has been spared an immediate jail sentence after she was convicted of making a false gang rape claim in Cyprus last year.
The 19-year-old was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for three years, following a hearing at a court in Paralimni on Tuesday morning (7 January), the BBC reports.
She was also ordered to pay €148 in legal fees. The suspension means she is free to return to the UK.
The woman was found guilty in December of lying about being gang raped by 12 Israeli men while she was on a working holiday in Ayia Napa in July 2019.
She was arrested when she retracted her accusation 10 days later following lengthy questioning by police in Cyprus, calling into question the handling of her case.
Senior legal figures in Cyprus wrote to the country’s attorney general calling on him to intervene and have the case reassessed.
The Foreign Office described the teenager’s conviction as "deeply distressing" and pledged to raise the issue with Cypriot authorities, while her mother has backed calls for people to boycott Cyprus.
Cyprus’s Ministry of Tourism declined to comment on the matter when approached by TTG last week.
Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said while the case had left him "troubled", her claims resulted in 12 people being arrested, with some of them held for more than a week.
The woman’s lawyer told the BBC the family would appeal her conviction. "We do not feel we have had justice in terms of how the trial progressed, the manner in which it was conducted, the initial police investigation, and the fact that we feel she did not receive a fair trial," said Lewis Power QC.
The company she was travelling with Summer Takeover, which provides a range of "working package holidays", has withdrawn Ayia Napa as one of the destinations it offers.