Police released four Palestinians residing illegally in Israel, who were arrested Tuesday on suspicion that they had raped an 11-year old Israeli boy, when it turned out the latter had been lying.
The four men denied the allegations from the first, prompting police investigators to question the boy again before a scheduled lineup. During the second round of questioning, the boy admitted that some of the claims he had made were false, and also supplied a different description of the men.
When he was asked about the alleged burn marks and signs of abuse on his rear, the boy admitted he had undergone an enema two weeks ago and that they had not been made by cigarettes, as he had previously claimed.
The four men, who denied the allegations Tuesday, are to pass through an IDF checkpoint later Wednesday to return to the West Bank.
"We don't even know the boy," one of the men, who are all between the ages of 23-27, told the court during a hearing on the remand of their arrest. The court approved a four-day remand.
The case had been likened to 'Clockwork Orange' by police investigator Guy Kalderon, who was involved in their arrest on charges of rape and indecent acts.
"They paid me NIS 400 to sleep with them, bought me presents I asked, and threatened me not to say anything, I was ashamed to talk about it," the boy had told his brother. He also accused the men of hitting him, putting out cigarettes on him, cutting him, and coercing him to use drugs.