A Peruvian judge ruled Friday that the confession of Joran Van Der Sloot, the 22-year-old Dutchman being held in a Lima prison for the suspected murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, would stand as valid. Superior Court Judge Wilder Casique, according to Fox News, rejected the Van Der Sloot defense habeus corpus motion that requested the court void the 33-year-old Dutchman’s confession to killing Stephany Flores Ramirez, a 21-yea-old university student, on May 30 in his Lima hotel room. Joran Van Der Sloot recanted his confession in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, stating that he had confessed under duress, that he was intimidated, “tricked, and that was not afforded proper counsel or a translator. Judge Casique rejected the claims.
In a statement, Judge Wilder Casique noted explained denying the motion in that Joran Van Der Sloot’s attorney, though state appointed, gave him proper counsel and that he was indeed given an interpreter, a Spanish-Dutch interpreter vetted by the Dutch Embassy.
Joran Van Der Sloot’s confession came after he was extradited from neighboring Chile, where he had been detained on an international arrest warrant posted by Peru. Peruvian authorities issued the warrant on Wednesday, June 2, after the body of Stephany Flores Ramirez was found in a Lima hotel room rented by Van Der Sloot.
In the confession, Joran Van Der Sloot admitted to going into a rage after going out for coffee and, upon return, finding Stephany Flores Ramirez looking at a message about Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teen who disappeared on Aruba in 2005 and whose case still sees Van Der Sloot as the prime suspect. He claimed they argued. He told police that he elbowed her across the face as they sat on the bed, the blow causing Flores Ramirez’ head to hit the hotel room wall, dazing her. He said he then panicked and began choking her until she died.
Although Peruvian authorities believe Joran Van Der Sloot killed Stephany Flores Ramirez, they do not believe his confession. They believe Van Der Sloot targeted the business student after seeing her win $4,000 in a casino, insinuated himself into her circle of friends, and talked her into going to his hotel room. They believe his intent the entire time was to rob and kill her. When the body was found, her winnings and credit cards could not be found.
Joran Van Der Sloot was charged with robbery and first-degree murder and was ordered to await trial at Miguel Castro Castro Prison in Lima. He was placed in an isolated cell for his own protection.
Van Der Sloot’s lawyer, Maximo Altez, told the Associated Press that he would appeal Judge Casique’s decision to a higher court.
Legal experts told Fox News that Peruvian law allows up to six months for a murder trial. However, the system usually takes approximately 18 months for a murder trial to actually begin. Van Der Sloot told De Telegraaf that he expected to be in prison up to two years before his case went to trial. It was also noted that Van Der Sloot’s appeal would not slow down the process.
If convicted, Joran Van Der Sloot could remain in prison for 15 to 35 years.
Associated Press via FoxNews.com