Two Golani Brigade soldiers who were arrested over the weekend for suspicion of raping two female soldiers after spiking their drinks with a date-rape drug were released from custody Wednesday after investigators failed to gather sufficient evidence against them.
The case is expected to be closed without indictments.
"I was certain that the truth would eventually come out; it was a false charge," one of the soldiers told his attorney after hearing of the decision to release him.
On Tuesday the Military Prosecution announced that the investigation may be transferred to the police due to the fact that the soldiers were on furlough when the alleged incident took place, but during Wednesday morning's hearing, which was attended by Military Advocate General Avi Mandelblit, it was decided that in light of the stalled investigation and limited cooperation from the two complainants there was no reason to ask the court to extend the suspects' remand.
The attorneys representing the two soldiers, Shai Roda, Yahel Ben Oved and Boaz Reuven, expressed their satisfaction with the decision to release their clients.
"There was no justification to arrest them in the first place," Roda said, "it was clear that the women soldiers had fabricated the story.
"I am considering filing a motion to launch an investigation against the complainants and demand that the soldiers be compensated for the injustice done to them towards the end of their military service," he said.
On Friday one of the female soldiers arrived at a police station in central Israel and complained that she had been raped by a soldier the previous day. A short while later her friend lodged a similar complaint.
The Golani soldiers were arrested on Saturday and later interrogated by Military Police. According to the female soldiers' testimonies, they arrived at the home of one of the male soldiers in central Israel at around midnight, where they were coaxed into drinking alcoholic beverages that were spiked with a sedative, apparently a date-rape drug. They claimed they were raped shortly thereafter.
The soldiers claimed the sex was consensual.