Peru is evaluating a request to extradite Dutch citizen Joran Van der Sloot to the United States in connection with the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, his lawyer said on Monday.
The U.S. embassy in Lima initiated a process to extradite Van der Sloot for charges of extortion on Jan. 30, according to Peruvian court documents seen by Reuters. The U.S. embassy could not immediately comment.
Prosecutors say Van der Sloot, who was arrested but never charged over the disappearance, tried to get thousands of dollars in cash from Holloway's family in exchange for information on the whereabouts of her body.
"The American government has asked for Van der Sloot's extradition and presented the respective request," said Max Altez, a lawyer for Van der Sloot.
A Peruvian court sentenced Van der Sloot to 28 years in prison on Jan. 13 for killing a woman in Lima in 2010. Van der Sloot has confessed to killing 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores but later appealed his sentence.
His lawyers have argued that post-traumatic stress from the Holloway inquiries led Van der Sloot to kill Flores in a Lima hotel room after he saw her looking at his laptop, which contained e-mails about the Aruba case.
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Caroline Stauffer)