Questions remain to be answered about the recent Cyprus rape case. One is whether or not we should be calling this a rape case in the first place or rather a case of false allegations by a young British woman against a group of 12 Israeli youths.

In July of last year, a British woman claimed to have been gang raped by a number of young Israeli men before retracting the allegation. She was then found guilty of making the false rape allegation, in part, because the incident had been filmed by the men and released online.

Subsequently a number of British tabloids and women’s rights activists have campaigned on the woman’s behalf, questioning, for example, why the retraction was made without legal representation and suggesting that the police have lied in this case.

Some of these questions and arguments sound reasonable and the case looks set to be appealed. However, what is worrying about the reaction is how one sided and dogmatic it sounds at times.

With some of the conservative tabloids, for example, we find a chauvinistic attitude, a presumption that only British justice is justice. With even a system of justice, like the one in Cyprus, that is based upon the British model, presumed to be profoundly flawed. Almost before the facts of the matter are in hand, minds have been made up based more on prejudice than objectivity.

With the women’s campaigners and indeed a number of newspaper columnists the presumption that the woman is innocent and indeed has been raped is overwhelming but again this appears to be based on pre-judging, on an ideological belief of a “patriarchal legal system” and, as we have seen over the last decade a demand that we #believe the “rape victim”.

Writing on the subject, feminist campaigner Julie Bindel explained, “When I met the young woman at the heart of the Cyprus rape case, I knew instantly that she had been the victim of serious sexual assault”. Perhaps she’s right but can you really “know” or again, is there at least an element of ideology and pre-judging taking place here?

Perhaps this is a flawed legal system. While being based on the British model it does not have some of the checks and balances. For example, suspects are sometimes denied access to lawyers. It may also be the case that traditional attitudes influence Cypriot legal processes and could lead to a bias in rape cases. However, this does not mean that in this particular case we know that the British woman is innocent.

The Cyprus Mail asked the locals in Nicosia. They had different opinions but often noted that they were not at the trial and don’t know all the facts. The facts - a useful starting point for any legal system interested in justice.