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Crime News

Suspect in Natalee Holloway Disappearance Joran van der Sloot To Fight U.S. Extradition

“He does not want to be extradited to the United States of America,” defense attorney Máximo Altez said of his client, Joran van der Sloot.

By Dorian Geiger
Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot during his preliminary hearing in court in the Lurigancho prison in Lima.

The primary suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama tourist Natalee Holloway from Aruba intends to challenge his extradition from Peru to the United States, according to the man’s lawyer.

Reversing course, Dutchman Joran van der Sloot is now seeking to halt his planned extradition to the U.S. this coming Thursday, the Associated Press reported. His defense lawyer, Máximo Altez, made the announcement shortly after Peruvian officials confirmed the extradition would proceed. 

RELATED: Suspect in Natalee Holloway Disappearance Faces Extradition to U.S. on Fraud Charges

“He does not want to be extradited to the United States of America,” Altez stated, according to the Associated Press. “He was visited today by his embassy [representatives] who made him see the mistake he was making by being extradited without due process.”

On May 10, Peru’s government said they would temporarily place van der Sloot in the custody of U.S. authorities on wire fraud charges. Altez is now expected to file a writ of habeas corpus on van der Sloot’s behalf. The charges are related to van der Sloot’s alleged extortion of Holloway’s family in 2010, in which he tried to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars from their family lawyer in exchange for information related to the location of her remains. 

Joran Van Der Sloot arrives in the court room

A 2001 treaty signed by Peru and the U.S. permits an accused individual to be temporarily extradited in cases of legal matters. 

Van der Sloot’s time in the U.S. “will be extended until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings,” according to the resolution cited in Peruvian government documents, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. is expected to transfer custody back to Peru following the trial and an appeals process, if there is one. 

Van der Sloot was later indicted by a federal grand jury in Alabama. 

In 2005, Holloway vanished while traveling with classmates during a vacation on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Holloway was last seen alive leaving a bar with van der Sloot. She was 18 at the time. Holloway’s body was never found.

Natalee Holloway's Missing Persons Poster

Van der Sloot, who was arrested and questioned in the aftermath of Holloway’s disappearance, was ultimately never charged in her disappearance, largely due to lack of evidence. Police also questioned two brothers in the missing persons case. 

A judge in Alabama later declared Holloway legally dead.

In 2010, van der Sloot was charged in the killing of 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores. Flores was murdered five years and one day after Holloway’s disappearance, the New York Post reported. In 2012, van der Sloot pleaded guilty to Flores’ murder. He’s currently serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru. 

Meanwhile, Holloway’s family applauded van der Sloot’s scheduled extradition.

“It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off,” her mother, Beth Holloway, said in a statement.

She added that her daughter's loved ones were hopeful they were “finally getting justice for Natalee.”

Over the years, the Holloway family have maintained hope that Natalee’s body would someday be recovered.

In 2017, human bone fragments found in Aruba were tested to see if they were a match for Holloway. The results, however, ultimately came back negative. The results were found to be “from a single individual” of European descent.

In Oxygen’s series “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,”  van der Sloot’s friend, John Ludwick, claimed that he and van der Sloot burnt Holloway’s skull in a cave in Aruba in 2010.

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