zaterdag 19 juni 2010
(June 14) -- Joran van der Sloot, the young Dutchman charged in the killing of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, could be indicted by U.S. authorities for the murder of Natalee Holloway, a legal expert tells AOL News.
"In this particular case with van der Sloot, if the Arubans won't do anything with this guy, the U.S. could conceivably -- once he is released in Peru -- extradite him back to the states and prosecute him for Holloway's murder," says Michael Griffith, senior partner at the International Legal Defense Counsel.
Griffith also thinks the U.S. could leverage that threat to get the 22-year-old Dutch native to reveal the location of Holloway's body.
Family Photo / AP
A legal expert says the U.S. could indict Joran van der Sloot for the murder of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, here in an undated family photo, if Aruban authorities don't do anything with the case.
Van der Sloot was arrested earlier this month in the slaying of Stephany Flores. She was found dead in van der Sloot's Lima, Peru, hotel room on June 2, setting off a police manhunt that ended with his arrest in Chile the following day. Van der Sloot is equally infamous for his longtime association with the disappearance of Holloway, an 18-year-old Alabama woman who vanished on a trip to Aruba in 2005.
Holloway was last seen leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot. Her body has never been found. There are reports of van der Sloot making multiple confessions in the case.
According to Griffith, the passive personality principle of international law allows a country to prosecute someone who has killed or injured an American citizen in a foreign country. In essence, jurisdiction is based on the nationality of the victim and not the location of the crime.
"One example of that would be the Leon Klinghoffer case," Griffith said.
In 1985, Klinghoffer, 69, and his wife were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary on the cruise ship Achille Lauro. Palestinian terrorists hijacked the liner, and Klinghoffer was murdered and thrown overboard. The hijackers were later given safe passage on a flight to Tunisia, but the U.S. Air Force intercepted the plane and forced it to land in Italy, where the suspects were taken into custody.
"The U.S. has secondary jurisdiction over van der Sloot because of the extortion case," Griffith explains. "Because of that, and statements he allegedly made on video, the U.S. now has reasonable cause to believe, I would ascertain, that he's responsible for the Holloway killing."
On June 3, federal authorities in Alabama charged van der Sloot with extortion in connection with the disappearance of Holloway. Officials say van der Sloot offered to provide information on Holloway's disappearance in exchange for $250,000. An intermediary acting under the FBI's direction met with van der Sloot at a hotel in Aruba and allegedly gave him a partial payment of $10,000 in cash. An additional $15,000 was wired to van der Sloot via a financial institution in the Netherlands, U.S. authorities say.
Upon receiving the initial payment, van der Sloot allegedly spoke about Holloway's case -- discussions that were secretly recorded by the FBI -- and pointed out a location where her body could be found. Authorities later discovered Holloway's remains were not there.
Labels: Joran van der sloot