A group of 12 Israelis accused of gang raping a British teenager in a popular resort town in Cyprus allege "the police hit us, they broke our noses and the girl is lying".

The dozen teenagers will stay in police custody for another eight days after they were accused of raping a 19-year-old girl inside her Ayia Napa hotel early Wednesday morning, news.com.au reports.

All 12 faced court yesterday on the Mediterranean island where Judge Tonia Nicolaou removed reporters from the hearing because some of the suspects were minors.

Israeli Embassy official Yossef Wurmbrand said the suspects' ages ranged from 15 to 18, and the embassy was monitoring the case closely and ready to provide support to the suspects and their families.

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It's understood the teenagers were in Ayia Napa partying and celebrating before they are conscripted into the country's army — a requirement for all Israeli Jewish citizens over the age of 18.

Some of the suspects' families were in court yesterday with their sons, hugging the handcuffed teens as they walked in. One young suspect broke down in tears.

Suspects cover their faces with their shirts as they leave the Famagusta courthouse. Photo / AP
Suspects cover their faces with their shirts as they leave the Famagusta courthouse. Photo / AP

All the suspects covered their faces with their shirts as they entered and exited the courthouse in the town of Paralimni.

Police allege the rape occurred early Wednesday in the popular resort town where the woman and the dozen were staying separately.

The alleged victim is said to be having medical treatment and is believed to have scratches on her legs.


All 12 suspects face charges of rape and conspiracy to commit rape.

Lawyer Ioannis Habaris, who represents four of the suspects, told AP prosecutors informed the court the British woman was raped but it was unclear exactly how many of the suspects were implicated.

Prosecutors also told the court photographs and footage had been taken during the rape.

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Mr Habaris said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects, but as far as he knew, there was nothing to corroborate the allegation the suspects had engaged in any sexual act with the victim.

"As far as I'm concerned, and as far as the evidence presented, I do not have any material or evidence which … corroborates this story," said Mr Habaris.

Some of the suspects — again with their faces covered to disguise their identity — also alleged on Israeli media outlets they had been beaten by Cypriot police.

"The police hit us, they broke our noses, and the girl is lying," the teens said through their lawyers via The Jerusalem Post.

"Help us, get us out of here, you'll see we're right and that we're innocent."

Israeli men cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in Paralamni town, Cyprus. Photo / AP
Israeli men cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in Paralamni town, Cyprus. Photo / AP

According to The Jerusalem Post, "a large group of British people began beating up Israelis" they thought were close to the room of the 19-year-old British person once news of the alleged crime spread in the hotel.

Mr Habaris said he wasn't aware of any police mistreatment of the suspects, but police should fully investigate any such allegations.

Israeli lawyer Nir Yaslovitzh, who represents three of the suspects, said there was no evidence the victim knew any of the suspects, and the 12 suspects came to the popular resort of Ayia Napa in three separate groups and didn't know each other.

Mr Yaslovitzh said he suspected police investigators were trying to set a trap by implicating all 12 suspects.

"I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)."

Mr Yaslovitzh told Israeli TV Channel 12 two of the suspects admitted to engaging in sexual acts with the woman, and it was consensual.

He added all the other suspects insisted they had no sexual contact with the woman and they weren't alone in the room with her.

Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos said yesterday on Cyprus state broadcaster RIK tougher policing was needed in his town to prevent what he suggested was an atmosphere encouraging acts of lawlessness.

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