Protesters descend on home of Israeli accused of raping Brit in Ayia Napa writing ‘we believe her’ on nearby walls – The Sun

COPS broke up a demonstration outside the home of the alleged ringleader in the Ayia Napa rape case.

Officers were called after dozens of protesters waved banners and sprayed graffiti outside semi-pro footballer Shimon Yusufov's apartment block.

Yusufov, 19, was named by The Sun in January as the chief suspect in the horrific ordeal of a Brit teenager who said she was attacked by up to 12 youths in Cyprus last summer.

The case made headlines around the world and sparked anger in Israel after the 12 teenage cadets were cleared and allowed to fly home.

The protesters – many wearing surgical masks to stop the spread of coronavirus – gathered in Yusufov's home town Jerusalem.

Some carried slogans in support of the 19-year-old British girl, saying: "We believe her."

Graffiti sprayed on nearby walls named Yusufov and said: "Here he lives in peace with himself."

Friends of Yusufov took pictures of the demo and called police but no arrests were made and the protesters were eventually moved on.

One of the activists – who asked not to be named – said: "We just want to show our support for the British girl.

"She did nothing wrong and is the victim in all this.

"The perpetrator and his friends are allowed to carry on life as normal and they are harassing and threatening us now. We feel intimidated."

But the teen's lawyer Nir Yaslovitzh said: "This is an obvious attempt at unsubstantiated defamation, a campaign if you like, trying to discredit my client and we will not remain silent."

The girl met Yusufov in Ayia Napa while on a working holiday last summer and they began a brief fling.

But she alleged he and 11 of his friends then gang raped her and filmed it on their phones.

Cops arrested the lads but released them and accused the woman of lying.

She was forced to spend six months in Cyprus where she was eventually convicted of inventing the rape and given a suspended jail sentence.

Yusufov, who plays for Beit Shemesh FC near Jerusalem, denied wrongdoing but said in January he accepted the girl should be allowed to return to Britain after six months of hell.

Last month she was the subject of an ITV documentary called Believe Me in which she claimed she was attacked by a "pack of wild animals".

An appeal against her conviction is due to be heard later this year in Cyprus.

A GoFundMe page set up to cover legal costs has so far raised almost £158,000.

A family statement on the page says: "It seems like a lifetime since we boarded that plane from Larnaca to London on Tuesday January 7 and who could have foreseen that our 'quarantine' in Cyprus would have been a rehearsal for the surreal world in which we are currently living?"

They praise their daughter for her "resolve to fight through in pursuit of the truth, a fight which continues.

"But, no amount of mettle alone would have saved our daughter from the system in which she found herself and so we once again would like to express our continuing gratitude for her legal representation that was funded by you.

"The next page in this story is the outcome of the appeal in the Cypriot Supreme Court which we are managing to fund from this GoFundMe crowd funding site."

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