LIMA, Peru (AP) — The Peruvian government has authorized the extradition to the United States of the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American student Natalie Holloway on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, and her It has brought hope to the family that there will be justice in this case. .
Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot is set to go on trial on charges of extortion and wire fraud stemming from the Holloway case. The Peruvian embassy in Washington told the Associated Press on Wednesday that an executive order allowed for his temporary extradition.
Holloway, who lived outside Birmingham, Alabama, was 18 when he was last seen on a trip to Aruba with classmates. Her mysterious disappearance after spending the night with her friends at her nightclub sparked years of news coverage, especially in the tabloids and the true crime media.
Holloway’s body was never found, and no charges were filed against van der Sloat in the incident. A judge later declared Holloway dead.
In 2010, a grand jury in Alabama indicted Van Der Throat for wire fraud and extortion for trying to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s mother in exchange for information about where her daughter was buried. .
The FBI agent said in an affidavit that Van der Sloat wanted to pay $25,000 to contact Holloway’s mother and disclose the location, plus another $225,000 when the body was recovered. During a recorded sting operation, Van der Sloat pointed to the house he said Holloway was buried in, but in subsequent emails he admitted to lying about the location, agents said. rice field.
The reason Van der Sloot is in Peru is 28 years in prison He was found guilty of murdering Stephanie Flores, a 21-year-old Peruvian student whom he met at a casino in Lima in 2010.
The killing occurred five years after Holloway disappeared in Aruba, where Van der Sloat lived. She was last seen leaving the bar with him.
Peru’s Justice Minister Daniel Maureto said in a statement Wednesday that the government had decided to “accept requests” from US authorities for the “temporary transfer” of Van der Sloat, who will be charged with extortion and fraud. Stated.
“We will continue to work with our allies, such as the United States, and many other countries with which we have extradition treaties on legal matters,” said Peru’s International Judicial Cooperation Bureau and the National Prosecutor’s Office’s extradition office. said Edgar Alfredo Rebaza, Director of
A 2001 treaty between Peru and the United States allows suspects to be temporarily extradited to be tried in the other country. It requires that the prisoner be “returned” after judicial proceedings have been completed against him, subject to conditions determined by both countries.
In a statement, the young woman’s mother, Beth Holloway, said she was lucky to be with Natalie for 18 years.
“She’s 36 now. It’s been a very long and hard road, but the persistence of many will pay off. Together, we will finally bring justice to Natalie.” Beth Holloway Said.
Attorney Maximo Altez, who represents van der Sloot, told The Associated Press that he will oppose the decision upon proper notice from the Peruvian government.
“I will contest the resolution,” Artes said. “He has a right to defend himself, so I will be against it.”
Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the murder charge of Flores’ murder in January 2012.
Prosecutors have accused him of murdering Flores, a business student from a prominent family, to rob her after learning she won money at a casino where the two met. beat her in her hotel room, strangled her, and killed her with “brutalism.”
Van der Sloot was not immediately reachable for comment on Wednesday. More than a decade ago, he told a Peruvian judge that he would oppose extradition efforts to the United States.
Van der Sloot married a Peruvian woman in July 2014 in a ceremony held in a high-security prison.
Associated Press journalist Regina García Cano reports from Mexico City.