The appeals process could take up to four years, he said.
Equality Now, an international women’s rights organisation that campaigns on failings in laws relating to sexual violence, said there needed to be an investigation into how the teenager was treated by the Cypriot police on the night she signed her retraction statement.
Alexandra Patsalides, a human rights lawyer with the organisation, said: “The teenager’s court testimony about being gang-raped and her subsequent treatment by state authorities, alongside the supporting evidence provided by expert witnesses for the defence, clearly expose the need for a comprehensive investigation into the night in question and the way the case has been handled by Cypriot police, medical authorities and state prosecutors.”
British tourists in Ayia Napa said they were “disgusted” by the decision and would not be returning to the island. “It doesn’t give you much faith that if it happened to another girl, that there would be justice,” said Nicole Moore, 24, from Lincolnshire.
On Twitter, supporters used the hashtag #BoycottCyprus.
Lou Cahill, a nurse, said: “British tourists make up a significant part of the tourism industry that keeps the Cyprus economy going. When booking your holidays this year, remember actions speak louder than words.”