In a dramatic breakthrough, all Israeli teenagers accused of raping a British woman in Cyprus nearly two weeks ago will be released from police custody and return home to Israel on Sunday.
The woman, 19, reportedly changed her version of the event and is now being questioned by local police under caution. She could very well be arrested on charges of making false accusations.
On Friday, a Cypriot court had extended the detention of seven of the 12 Israeli teenagers initially arrested as suspects in the rape.
Meanwhile, in a short video of the alleged incident, which was leaked over the weekend and has made the rounds on Israeli social media platforms, the reported victim is seen engaging in apparently consensual intercourse with one of the suspects as his friend is seen in the video recording the act.
The court had ordered the remaining suspects to be held in police custody for another six days to give investigators time to finish looking into the woman's reported rape at a hotel in the resort town of Ayia Napa.
Five other suspects were released from custody on Thursday and returned to Israel.
Attorney Yiannis Habaris told The Associated Press that police investigators confirmed that the five Israelis already released had no connection with the case. Habaris represents four suspects, two of whom were among those who were released.
Habaris said investigators had connected the seven remaining suspects to the case through witness statements as well as DNA evidence which link three of the seven to the alleged victim.
The Cypriot lawyer said the released Israeli suspects offered investigators certain "explanations" into their whereabouts at the time of the alleged crime.
The court heard that the alleged victim was involved in a relationship with one of the seven suspects and had sexual contact with several of the remaining six over the course of a few days, Habaris said.
Israeli lawyer Nir Yaslovitzh, who represents three of the 12 Israelis, alleged the release of the five damaged the accuser's credibility because she told police a dozen individuals sexually assaulted her.
Yaslovitzh also urged Cypriot investigators to look into the woman's actions at the hotel where the alleged crime occurred and where she was also working.
"As I claimed all along throughout the entire process, there was no rape in Cyprus, and now the youngsters who embarked on a vacation that turned into a nightmare will return home as early as today. They will all go back to their homes and families. The Cyprus police conducted a professional and thorough investigation," said Yaslovitzh.