vrijdag 2 juli 2010

Joran van der Sloot fears for his life

Joran van der Sloot, who is suspected of murdering Peruvian woman Stephany Flores, fears he could be murdered in the Lima prison where he is awaiting trial. A Dutch television programme has revealed that he said this to prison director Rubén Rodrigues Rabanal. On Wednesday, US Public Prosecution Office also officially charged the Dutchman with extortion.

Van der Sloot has been portrayed in the Peruvian press as a ruthless killer. Shortly after he was handed over to the Peruvian authorities, he was besieged by an angry crowd at a police station in Lima.

Mr Rabanal says that Van der Sloot asked to be put in solitary confinement because he fears being murdered. He avoids going to the exercise yard, and for fear of being poisoned, he only accepts food from the guards, not from fellow detainees.

His fellow prisoners dismiss Van der Sloot’s fears. One even says Van der Sloot is now one of them and is safe. He should just join in with the activities.

The Miguel Castro Castro prison in Lima where Van der Sloot has been held for the last three weeks, is notorious. More than 1500 prisoners are held in barracks built for 700 people. There are regular riots. Mr Rabanal says a stay in his own prison is “dangerous”.

The Dutch pastor Joop Spoor, who visits Dutch detainees in foreign prisons, reiterates that lawlessness reigns in Castro Castro. Violence and stabbings are a daily occurrence.

The Dutch television crew were given an extensive tour of the complex, but were not allowed to speak to Van der Sloot. The Dutchman reportedly only allows his mother to visit his cell.

Trial procedure
The president of the Lima court, Ceasar Javier Vega Vega expects it to be some time before Joran van der Sloot’s trial begins. The fact that the murder suspect is using his right to silence, is hampering the investigation according to the court.

Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Maximo Altez, says Van der Sloot denies killing the Peruvian woman. He has withdrawn an earlier confession.

Natalee Holloway
On Wednesday, the US Public Prosecution Office filed official charges against Joran van der Sloot for extortion. He is accused of demanding 250,000 dollars from Natalee Holloway’s mother in exchange for revealing the location of her body.

Joran van der Sloot is the main suspect in the case of US high school graduate Natalee Holloway who disappeared five years ago in Aruba. However, he has never appeared in court for the case due to a lack of evidence.


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