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Swede acquitted over Greece 'fake rape' claim

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Swede acquitted over Greece 'fake rape' claim
The alleged rape took place in the Greek island of Samos
15:47 CET+01:00
A Swedish woman accused of making false rape accusations while on holiday in Greece was acquitted of defamation charges on Thursday by a Greek court.

"She is extremely happy and relieved. I'm naturally very happy as well," Gunilla von Wachenfeldt, lawyer for Swedish "Anna" told the TT news agency following the court's decision.

The defamation trial of Anna, accused of making false rape accusations after reporting an alleged rape to the police while on holiday, was held on Thursday in Greece.

Ahead of the trial, Anna said she would wait to hear about the trial's outcome from her home in Sweden despite being summoned by the Greek court. She feared what may have happened if she had gone to Greece to participate in the trial.

“I think I would be locked up. As they try to make a victim into a perpetrator I think they are capable of anything,” said Anna to TV4 News.

The episode began back in 2008, when Anna went on holiday to the Greek island of Samos. On her last night she claimed to have been brutally raped and beaten, according to Sweden's TV4.

After reporting the crime to authorities in Greece, she then went back to Sweden where she underwent a medical examination.

The Swedish doctor found evidence corroborating her story but despite the findings of the Swedish medical team being forwarded to Greece, Anna learned in 2009 that the prosecutor on Samos would not pursue the case any further.

One of the reasons given for the case having been dropped was that it had become common for holidaying women, especially Scandinavians, to say that they had been raped during their stay in Greece, in order to claim insurance money upon their return.

Although shocked by what she had been told, Anna resigned to trying to move on with her life.

However, some time afterwards she was contacted by a Greek public prosecution office, which informed her that she was being countersued for making false rape accusations.

The case has received a lot of attention in Sweden's legal circles, as it is felt it has been handled in a strange way by the Greek authorities.

Anna's lawyer said ahead of the trial that she was surprised that the case has made it to court.

“When I have been in contact with the Greek authorities it has seemed as if they realize that charging Anna goes against the right of a fair trial, but they still choose to pursue the case, which I find odd,” von Wachenfeldt said to TV4.

Today, Anna is suffering from stress related illness and is partially on sickness benefits, which she clams to be caused by her ordeal in Greece.

“Even if I try to not think about what happened, my body remembers,” Anna said to TV4 News.

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