The Stockholm District Court approved prosecutors’ applications to keep three of the boys locked up on suspicion of serious assault and manslaughter.
The court said there was no reason to keep the fourth boy in custody. A fifth boy was released on Monday evening on the instruction of prosecutors.
The victim, also 16, died in hospital on Sunday following the assault outside a nightclub in the Kungsholmen district of the capital. He had been kicked in the head and body. He suffered extensive brain haemmoraging.
Leif Silbersky, lawyer for one of the boys remanded, said it was a partial success that his 16-year-old client had not been remanded on suspicion of murder – something the prosecution had pressed for. But he said it was regrettable that someone so young should be remanded in custody.
“It would be better if he was taken care of by the social authorities. A remand centre is not a good environment for someone just turned 16,” he said.
Police spokesman Mats Nylén said the suspicions against the fifth boy remain.
The boy’s lawyer, Åke Broné, said the release of his client was an indication that the police would drop charges.
“My client has given an accurate account of what happened and did not participate in the assault. Something that also indicates that he did not assault the 16-year-old is that his family knows the victim’s family.”
The attack has given rise to a debate among politicians, public figures and media personalities about the prevalence of violence in Sweden. Both Crown Princess Victoria and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt have spoken out following the killing to say they are worried about violence among young people in society.