Twelve Israelis detained in Cyprus over alleged gang rape of British teenager

Ayia Napa

The Times of Israel reported some of the suspects are aged 16 and 17 years old.

The hearing was held behind closed doors because one of the suspects is underage.

Judge Tonia Nicolaou removed reporters from the hearing because of the suspects' ages.

Police sources were quoted in other news media on Wednesday as saying that the investigation was in its early stages and it was not yet known how many of men were involved in the alleged incident.

Some parents shouted messages of support and embraced them.

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Some of the suspects told their parents that they were being mistreated by the Cypriot authorities, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing KAN Radio.

One of the mothers of the Israeli youths has told Channel 12 in her country that her son doesn't speak English well and does not understand the legal process of Cyprus. The British woman is undergoing medical checks to confirm her account, reports said. She said the boy called her "in tears" and said, "I didn't do anything".

The suspects were arrested on Wednesday after a 19-year-old British tourist alleged that she was raped at a hotel in the party resort where she and the Israelis were staying.

Israeli lawyer Nir Yaslovitzh, who represents three of the suspects, said there was no evidence that the victim knew any of the suspects and that the 12 suspects came to the popular resort of Ayia Napa in three separate groups and didn't know each other. "Their families have been updated", Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossef Wurmbrand, is following the situation and is in contact with those who have been detained".

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