Prime suspect in Natalee Holloway murder to be extradited to US 18 years after her disappearance

Van Der Sloot’s extradition is due to an alleged attempt to profit from his connection to Holloway’s disappearance.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Peru will send convicted murderer Joran van Der Sloot to the United States for extortion and fraud charges related to the disappearance and murder of an Alabama teen in Aruba 2005. This comes after years of developments in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, who disappeared during a high school graduation trip in May 2005. 

Holloway's disappearance prompted a sweeping investigation and hightened media attention, with authorities determining she was last seen with Van der Sloot and another man.

Van der Sloot, a Dutch national from Aruba, was arrested in connection with Holloway's disappearance but never charged with her alleged abduction. Her remains have never been found. In 2012, an Alabama judge declared her legally dead.

In 2012, Van der Sloot was arrested in Peru for the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, who was killed five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance. 

Prosecutors accused him of killing Flores to rob her after learning that she had won money at the casino where the two met. He confessed to Flores' murder and was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the 2010 murder.

Van der Sloot is once again in the public spotlight because of his upcoming extradition to the United States. 

Van Der Sloot’s extradition is due to an alleged attempt to profit from his connection to Holloway’s disappearance. A grand jury in Alabama in 2010 indicted Van der Sloot on wire fraud and extortion charges, accusing him of trying to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Holloways.

Prosecutors in the US allege Van der Sloot accepted $25,000 in cash from Holloway's family in exchange for a promise to lead them to her body in early 2010, just before he went to Peru.

During a sting operation, Van der Sloot identified a house where he said Holloway was buried but in later emails admitted to lying about the location, according to an FBI agent's affidavit, the Daily Mail reports.

Peru's Minister of Justice Daniel Maurate said in a statement Wednesday the government decided to "accept the request" from US authorities "for the temporary transfer" of Van der Sloot to be prosecuted on extortion and fraud charges.

It’s not yet known if Van der Sloot will face Alabama state charges from Holloway's deat. There was no immediate word from US officials as to whether that was possible under Washington's extradition treaty with Peruvian officials.

"We will continue to collaborate on legal issues with allies such as the United States, and many others with which we have extradition treaties," said Edgar Alfredo Rebaza, director of Peru's Office of International Judicial Cooperation and Extraditions of the National Prosecutor's Office. 


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