Ayia Napa 'gang rape' suspects arrive in court

Ayia Napa

Ayia Napa

The police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorised to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation, said it's still early in the investigation and it's unclear how many suspects are implicated in the case.

Israel's foreign ministry reported that its diplomats have spoken with the suspects.

She removed reporters from Thursday's hearing because some of the suspects are classified as minors.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that 12 Israeli citizens were arrested and their families notified.

Additional unconfirmed reports said British tourists who were guests at the same hotel allegedly attacked Israeli men following the incident.

Some parents shouted messages of support and embraced them.

They hugged the handcuffed suspects as they arrived at court wearing shorts and T-shirts. One was in tears, according to SigmaLive, a Cypriot news portal.

The suspects and the alleged victim had been holidaying in Ayia Napa, which is known for its all-night party lifestyle.

They were arrested after the young woman told police that she had been gang raped in her room when the twelve, staying at the same hotel, stormed into her room. Some, he said, had gone on vacation prior to being inducted into the Israeli army. Later that day police arrested the 12 teenagers.

"I think it's a trick", Yaslovitzh told the Associated Press.

Channel 12 reported three men have admitted sex with the woman but state the men claimed it was done "with consent and love". He added that all the other suspects insist they had no sexual contact with the woman and that they weren't alone in the room with her.