Israeli tourists back in court in Cyprus rape case

Nicosia (AFP) –


A group of young Israeli tourists are due to appear again before a Cyprus court Friday after the alleged gang rape of a British teenager in a popular resort.

The group of 12 Israelis has not yet been charged, police sources said, adding that some of them could be released later Thursday.

Police are investigating possible charges of rape and conspiracy to rape after a 19-year-old British tourist alleged she was raped at a hotel in the party resort of Ayia Napa.

Last week's hearing at a district court in nearby Paralimni was conducted behind closed doors as one of the suspects is a minor aged under 18.

The group was arrested on July 17 and remanded in custody for eight days.

Ayia Napa is a magnet for younger tourists attracted by its party reputation and white sand beaches.

Britain is the island's biggest tourist market with around 1.3 million of its citizens travelling to Cyprus every year while nearby Israel is also becoming a key source of visitors.