AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The lawyer for 19-year-old Guido Wever, the latest person to be arrested and released in connection with the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, said Tuesday that his client did not make a good suspect because he is gay.
'My client is gay," lawyer Gerard Spong told FOX News, adding that Wever sometimes wears makeup.
Wever was released from police custody in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Tuesday after spending several days in custody as a suspect in the kidnapping and murder of the Alabama teen.
The Dutch prosecutor's office said Wever is "still under suspicion but will not be held in custody." He will also have to make himself available for questioning.
Dutch court documents identified Wever only as Guido W. because of privacy laws. His release means that he will not be transferred to the Caribbean island of Aruba, said court official Martine de Bruijn.
Wever was considered a witness last June by Aruban investigators and was arrested Wednesday in Utrecht. The student became a suspect after five witnesses claimed to have seen him with deep scratches on his face that could have come from fingernails, and because of what Aruban prosecutors viewed as his hasty departure from the island last June, his lawyer said.
Spong dismissed the witness accounts as "nonsense," and said they were easily disproved.
Wever had been questioned as a potential witness by police three times in the days after Holloway's disappearance and detectives made no report of unusual scratches, Spong said. The witness statements were made in February and March, eight months after Holloway vanished, he said.
Photographs of the suspect from that period fail to show any scratches, Spong said.
"It was obvious that this was a fake story," he said. "It seems that the prosecutor was convinced."
Nonetheless, his client was released Tuesday with the approval of the Aruba prosecutor in charge of the case, Spong said.
Spong said his client was still a suspect but called that status "a formality."
"Questioning was done here for six days. Six long, hard days," he said.
The release means Wever will not be transferred to Aruba, a court official said.
A spokesman for the Dutch national prosecutor's office declined to comment, saying the case was in the hands of the Aruban public prosecutor.
The suspect was a croupier at the casino in the Holiday Inn where Holloway was staying when she disappeared a year ago during a high school graduation trip to Aruba.
Wever's parents said in a statement that their son was "innocent until proven guilty," and they "cannot believe that he could have anything to do with the case."
Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was 18 when she disappeared. She was last seen leaving a bar with three young men on May 30, 2005, the last night of her trip.
Spong said his client is a friend of Joran van der Sloot, the last person known to have seen Holloway alive. Van der Sloot says he left Holloway alone on a beach after they kissed.
Holloway's parents are trying to sue Van der Sloot, 18, in New York. Their suit alleges he imprisoned and sexually assaulted Holloway, and caused her disappearance.
While Aruban authorities are keeping all options open, they believe Holloway is most likely dead and buried on the island. Police in Aruba say prevailing currents would likely have washed her body ashore if she drowned or if it was thrown into the sea.
In January, Aruban police searched sand dunes on the northwest coast of the island. Dutch marines, the Aruban coast guard, the FBI and hundreds of volunteers have also searched the island and coastal areas for Holloway.
Authorities have arrested eight people including Van der Sloot in Holloway's disappearance and released them for lack of evidence. The latest suspect was questioned three times in Aruba shortly after Holloway's disappearance and twice later by Dutch authorities, Spong said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.