Attorney Maximo Altez, who is representing Joran Van der Sloot in the murder of Stephany Flores, 21, in Peru, announced his intention to challenge Van der Sloot’s confession because he was allegedly not properly represented during interrogation by Peruvian authorities. Flores was found dead on June 2nd in Van der Sloot’s hotel room, badly beaten and with a broken neck. She had been dead since May 30th, five years to the day that Natalee Holloway disappeared.
According to a report on CNN Justice, Altez also claims Flores attacked Van der Sloot first, after he found her going through his computer when he returned from leaving to buy bread and coffee. A source with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN that when Van der Sloot discovered Flores had brought up something on the computer linking him to Natalee Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba five years earlier, she wanted to leave, which sparked an argument. Flores allegedly slapped Van der Sloot, who hit her back and grabbed her neck. The source added that there was no evidence that Flores had had sexual intercourse that night, even though she was only half dressed.
Altez claims that Van der Sloot never agreed to the public defense attorney provided by police to be present during the interrogation. He also claimed that the evidence was tainted, especially the way the body was handled during the crime scene investigation.
Van der Sloot fled to Chili, but was arrested on June 3rd and returned to Peru on June 4th, where he confessed to murdering Flores in his hotel room. The two were spotted on hotel surveillance cameras entering his room. The cameras caught Van der Sloot leaving the room alone three hours later. Since he had prepaid for four days at the hotel, Flores’ body was not discovered for three days.
On Thursday, June 10, 2010, he was transferred from a Peruvian police facility to the national attorney general’s office, and will be subsequently sent to the Justice Ministry, where he will then be assigned to a maximum security prison. His lawyer has spoken with the director of jails in Lima in an attempt to assure Van der Sloot’s safety once he is moved to a maximum-security facility.
Van der Sloot was detained twice in the disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway five years ago in Aruba. While he was never charged in connection with Holloway’s disappearance, he has recently been charged in Alabama with extortion and wire fraud for attempting to extort $250,000 from the family of Holloway in exchange for revealing the location of Natalee Holloway’s remains.
It was erroneously implied earlier that the FBI paid Joran Van der Sloot $25,000 in a sting operation. However, a federal law enforcement official told CNN that the money was actually supplied by a representative for Holloway’s mother, who provided it to an undercover FBI agent. The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office said, “Some news accounts have suggested that the FBI provided $25,000 in funds that were transmitted to Van der Sloot. This is incorrect. The funds involved were private funds.”
The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Birmingham did arrange for the meeting where Van der Sloot was paid $10,000 in cash and $15,000 in a wire transfer, according to a source familiar with the case. According to Interpol documents, the information Van der Sloot gave the FBI about Natalee Holloway’s body was false. Van der Sloot subsequently traveled to Peru less than a week this attempted sting, with the money. The FBI and Birmingham U.S. Attorney’s Office said the investigation of Van der Sloot in the Holloway case “was simply not far enough along to have him arrested.”
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