Joran Van der Sloot to fight extradition to US

Joran Van der Sloot is alleged to have played a role in the disappearance of American Natalie Holloway on Aruba seven years ago. Joran Van der Sloot is currently in a Peruvian prison after confessing to killing a Lima woman in 2010.

Karel Navarro/AP/File
In this Jan. 11 file photo, Joran van der Sloot looks back from his seat after entering the courtroom for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru. Joran van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for killing a Lima woman he met at a casino.

Confessed murderer Joran Van der Sloot told a judge on Tuesday that he will fight extradition from Peru to the United States, where he faces extortion and wire fraud charges in connection with the disappearance of American Natalee Holloway, his lawyer said.

Van der Sloot remains the prime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of Holloway in Aruba. He faces an indictment in the U.S. for allegedly accepting $25,000 in early 2010 in exchange for an unfulfilled promise to lead her mother's lawyer to the body.

Judge Zenaida Vilca informed Van der Sloot of the U.S. extradition request during a closed door meeting at Piedras Gordas prison just north of Lima. The 24-year-old Dutchman told the judge he would fight extradition, his lawyer, Maximo Altez, said.

RELATED: Think you know Latin America? Take our geography quiz

If he stays put, Van der Sloot could be released on parole after serving a third of his 28-year sentence for killing a Lima woman he met at a casino in May 2010, said Altez.

But if he were convicted in the U.S. he likely wouldn't qualify for early parole in Peru. Under the U.S.-Peru extradition treaty he would be returned to Peru to finish out his sentence. Then, if he were convicted in the U.S., he would be sent there serve the second sentence.

"It's not good for us if Van der Sloot goes to the United States because everyone hates him there and the members of the jury will thus be biased," said Altez. "We will defend ourselves with all the legal remedies possible."

Reporters were able to see Van der Sloot, from about 75 feet (25 meters), enter a room for the hearing, which was also attended by representatives of the U.S. and Dutch embassies.

The Dutchman smiled at the agents who accompanied him but did not respond to calls from the news media.

If Peru's Supreme Court approves the extradition request it will then need to be approved by the country's council of ministers.

Van der Sloot was sentenced in January after confessing to beating and strangling 21-year-old Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room five years to the day after Holloway disappeared on Aruba, the Dutch dependency where he grew up.

RELATED: Think you know Latin America? Take our geography quiz

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.