It would seem that Joran Van Der Sloot, wanted for questioning in the murder of a Peruvian woman, will have to find another attorney to represent him in Lima should he have to Joe Tacopina, the 22-year-old Dutchman’s lawyer during the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba, told Radar Online that the Joran Van Der Sloot of today was a different person than the one he represented two years ago.
“At this stage I wouldn’t agree to be his attorney,” Tacopina said in an exclusive interview with Radar Online, “because the Joran of today has gone down a very disturbing path in life.”
Tacopina said that the reason he became involved in the Natalee Holloway case was that he believed that Van Der Sloot was innocent of the allegations being made against him. His firm had conducted a two month investigation and believed he had “no involvement in the murder or disappearance in Aruba.”
Tacopina said that the media had overwhelmed the young man four and a half years ago. “However his behavior over the last two and a half years has made me believe he is not the same person I knew.”
As for the charges that might now be levied against Van Der Sloot, Tacopina notes that it is too early to tell whether or not the Dutchman is innocent or guilty. But Tacopina, considered one of the best criminal defense lawyers in New York, believes that if he is guilty, “…it would rightly turn the first case on its face, but that doesn’t change the evidence.” He added, “I believe the case in Peru has nothing to do with the case in Aruba.”
And it may not. But disturbing coincidences in both cases cannot be ignored.
Joran Van Der Sloot has been arrested twice since 2005 in Aruba in connection to the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway. The 18-year-old vanished on May 30 after a night of partying. Friends and witnesses last saw her with Van Der Sloot, the son of a prominent Aruban judge, and a couple of his friends.
Van Der Sloot was released both times for lack of evidence. Natalee Holloway’s body has never been found.
The body of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, the daughter of race car driver Ricardo Flores, was found Wednesday in a Lima hotel room rented by Van Der Sloot. Stephany Flores was found face down on the hotel room floor, fully clothed, her body and arms abraded. She had been stabbed to death.
Stephany Flores had last been seen entering the room with Van Der Sloot at around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, May 30. Van Der Sloot had left the room alone about four hours later. Peruvian police believe Flores was killed before Van Der Sloot exited the room.
Peruvian authorities issued an international warrant for the arrest of Joran Van Der Sloot Wednesday. He was detained by Chilean authorities Thursday.
Five years to the day that Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba, Stephany Flores Ramirez was killed in Lima, Peru. She was last seen with Joran Van Der Sloot, just as was Natalee Holloway. She had been partying with friends until the early morning hours (video surveillance footage at a casino shows Van Der Sloot and a woman resembling the victim there at 2 a.m.) before going off with Van Der Sloot.
Just like Natalee Holloway.
Joe Tacopina will not take Joran Van Der Sloot’s case if he is charged in the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez. Could it be because Joe Tacopina does not believe in coincidences?