Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Brazilian woman 'invented attack'

The belly of Brazilian Paula Oliveira
Paula Oliveira said she had lost twins in the attack

A Brazilian woman has admitted faking an attack by Swiss skinheads and lying about miscarrying twins, according to prosecutors in Zurich.

Paula Oliveira, a 26-year-old lawyer, had said she was attacked by three knife-wielding skinheads near the city, causing the miscarriage.

But prosecutors say that while being interrogated last week, she acknowledged she had lied.

Police had already suggested she was not pregnant, contrary to her claims.

Reports of the alleged attack had caused shock in Brazil, where it had been widely reported along with graphic images of the wounds inflicted on Ms Oliveira.

Photos of Ms Oliveira showed her stomach and legs with some 100 cuts from a carpet knife, and the initials of the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) carved into her body.

The woman, who alleged that she was assaulted, has admitted to police that she had given false evidence
Police statement

Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim had described the assault as "grave" and "shocking".

But doubts arose when Zurich University forensic medicine chief Walter Baer said: "Any experienced forensic doctor would not hesitate to assume that this was a case of self-infliction."

All of the wounds were reachable by hand, and none were severe, he said.

Having been confronted with this evidence, Ms Oliveira admitted no attack had taken place and she had cut her own skin, and confirmed she was not three-months pregnant, police said.

"The woman, who alleged that she was assaulted, has admitted to police that she had given false evidence," read a police statement.

Prosecutors are now investigating Ms Oliveira on suspicion of misleading police.

She could face up to three years in prison if convicted.

In the mean time, they have blocked her passport to prevent her leaving the country.

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