Five of 12 Israeli teenagers arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a British woman in Cyprus have been freed from police custody.
The five – including the youngest suspect, aged 15 – were released on Thursday evening after DNA evidence failed to implicate them and have flown home to Israel.
The other seven suspects appeared in court Friday where a judge ordered that they should be held in custody for another six days while investigations continue.
It is thought the next stage of the investigation will involve an identity parade, which will then be added to DNA evidence and mobile phone footage to form the basis of charges which could be brought next week.
Five Israeli teenagers accused of gang-raping a 19-year-old British woman in Aiya Napa olast week have been released and flown home to Israel – while the other seven appeared in court
A judge ruled that the remaining seven suspects should be held in jail Cyprus for another six days while police continue to investigate
Court documents show that DNA from at one suspect who died ever having sex with the woman was found on her body (pictured, two suspects arrive in court)
The accused made a brief court appearance at a court in the town of Paralimni Friday where they were told they would be held until next week.
Covering their faces with T-shirts pulled over their heads, the suspects were handcuffed to each other as they were brought from police stations to the court.
Documents seen by Mail Online showed that the DNA of one of the accused, who had denied in police interviews having sex, was found on the woman.
In his interview the suspect identified only as number four had claimed that he had not had not slept with the woman at the Pambos Rocks Hotel in the Ayia Napa resort.
But DNA analysis carried out by a laboratory in Nicosia following a medical examination of the alleged victim found traces of his DNA.
Relatives of the accused watched from a short distance away as they were led up a flight of stairs to the first floor courtroom.
As one of the suspects is under the age of 18 the proceedings were closed to the press. Only lawyers and family member were allowed inside.
One of the suspects was freed after his girlfriend showed police a selfie of them in bed together when the alleged attack took place, Israeli media reported.
The next stage of the investigation is thought to involve an identity parade where the woman, who is still in Cyprus, will pick her alleged attackers out of a line-up
The investigation is understood to be focused on three main suspects, all of whom admit having sex with the woman, but say it was consensual
Speaking to Channel 12, the teen said he was sitting in his room when police burst in, accused him of raping a woman, and slapped handcuffs on him.
He said that he told officers at the time that he had been with his girlfriend, but his pleas were ignored.
After being freed from jail, he said: ‘My girlfriend’s selfie saved me life, I will never come back here ever again.’
It is also thought that DNA samples taken from the scene of the crime failed to implicate the five who have been freed, Israel’s Ynet News reported.
Due to a lack of other evidence implicating them, the teenagers were released.
It is thought the police investigation is focusing on three main suspects, all of whom admit to having sex with the 19-year-old Briton, but insist it was consensual.
Instagram posts between one of the main suspects and the woman show they were talking and flirting for several days before the alleged attack, and that the boy invited the woman up to his room on at least one occasion.
The woman says she went to the boy’s room at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel willingly, but once inside she alleges that the group pinned her down and assaulted her for an hour before she fell unconscious and was released.
Police are understood to be in possession of cellphone footage from that night which the boys insist shows the woman consented.
The three main suspects have been interviewed repeatedly over the last few days, the Times of Israel reports, while three others have stopped cooperating.
According to the Briton’s account of the attack, she went to the hotel room of one of the boys who she knew (pictured top left) before the group jumped on her and attacked her
She said the assault lasted for an hour until she passed out and they let her go, after which she found friends who were staying at the hotel (file image)
Three more have insisted they were at a nearby bar until around 3am on the night in question, and could not have participated.
The British woman is also still in Cyprus and was interviewed by investigators Tuesday, who believe her version of events is credible.
An identity parade will take place next week when she will be asked to pick out the suspects from a line-up.
The results of the identity parade will be added to cellphone evidence and DNA samples, and will then form the basis for charges.
Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli attorney who is representing three of the accused, suggested that police may try to charge some of the teens with conspiracy to commit or cover-up a rape, if they cannot prove they actively participated.
He told the Times of Israel: ‘This is an insane accusation that puts the youths whose DNA is not found on the woman in danger as well.’
Lawyers for the seven accused are hopeful that the seven – who have not been named – will be granted bail at the next court hearing.
‘They will not be able to leave Cyprus, but they will be under house arrest with a curfew,’ said a lawyer of one of the accused.
Half a dozen relatives of the accused had flown from Israel to attend the hearing at the small district court in the town of Paralimni, about eight miles from the popular beach resort of Ayia Napa.
The Israeli teens are understood to have been in Ayia Napa ahead of compulsory military service, while the woman had been trying to get work there as a club promoter (file)
Before they arrived the uncle of one of the accused said his nephew should be shot if her had committed rape.
‘I do no think he would do such a thing to a woman, but if he is found guilty then he should be shot,’ said the relative who would only give the name Meir.
‘No woman should be subjected to such treatment. It is not human and if my nephew did this then I would happily pull the trigger.’
Meir said the teen’s parent were unable to travel from their home in Jerusalem as they did not have passports.
Lawyer Nir Jeslovitcvh, who represents two of the accused, said he was confident all seven will be released.
‘We have had a great victory in that five have already gone home and I am confident that the other will soon return to Israel.
‘This has been very hard for those who have been detained as they maintain their innocence.’
According to the Briton’s version of events, she was out at a party in Aiya Napa until around midnight on July 16, when she went to the hotel to meet one of the boys.
According to Israel’s Channel 13, she said: ‘I knew some of the boys and we did have a relationship, but when I got to the room around midnight, everyone was drunk, I remember everything was blurred.
‘I do remember that until about 1:00 a.m., the friends I did not know raped me, some wore a condom, and some didn’t.
‘They hurt my whole body… one of them held me down, and then I saw at least 12 faces … for an hour or so, one after the other.
‘After they let me go I fainted, and then I ran out of the room, met friends and they took me half-naked to the clinic.’
Police then arrested the 12 suspects, who protested their innocence and claimed that British tourists had beat them when allegations of the attack began circulating, before the police also hit them.
They first appeared in court on July 18, when a judge ordered all of them to be held for eight days while police tested DNA samples taken from the hotel room.
At an initial court hearing last week it was revealed that the victim had bruises and scratches on her leg.
The victim had been in Cyprus only a week when the alleged assault took place having flown to the island to work as a promotions girl handing out fliers at one of the many nightclubs in the resort.