THE British teenager convicted of lying about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli men in Cyprus will be pardoned and freed to return to Britain even if she is given a jail term today, sources say.
President Nicos Anastasiades will reportedly order that the 19-year-old from Derbyshire is given her passport back and gets free passage to the UK in the wake of international uproar.
The move follows a warning from foreign secretary Dominic Raab that travel advice for Britons travelling to Cyprus is ‘under review’.
The teenager said police forced her to retract claims that she was raped but was found guilty of public mischief and is due to be sentenced today.
The island’s Phileleftheros news-paper said: ‘Should the court move to order her to prison, the president has already decided that he will pardon the girl immediately.’
A government source denied the decision was due to British pressure, but said the president was ‘considering the girl’s young age and the outcry which the case has generated’. Speaking anonymously on This Morning, the girl’s mother yesterday criticised police procedures in Cyprus. She said: ‘I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever about my daughter’s claims. She’s really suffering. She’s getting worse on almost a daily basis. She has PTSD, is sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. She is not in a good way at all and needs to get home.’
Supporters have donated more than £135,000 to help the teenager. Yesterday protesters gathered outside the Cypriot High Commission in London chanting ‘boycott Cyprus’ before marching to Parliament Square.