Natalee Holloway: Suspected in the unsolved disappearance of a student who should be “extradited to the United States on Tuesday” | world news

The prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway in 2005 has been moved to a prison near the Peruvian capital ahead of his pending extradition to the United States.

Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.

The Peruvian government approved Van der Sloot’s extradition to the United States in May to face trial on charges of extortion and wire fraud related to the Holloway case.

Ms Holloway, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, was 18 when she disappeared while traveling with classmates on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

She disappeared on a night out with friends and was last seen leaving a bar with Van der Sloot, who was a student at an international school on the island.

Van der Sloot, now 35, was identified as a suspect and arrested weeks later along with two Surinamese brothers.

Ms Holloway’s body was never found and no charges were filed in the case. A judge later pronounced Ms Holloway dead.

The charges he faces at trial relate to a charge he tried to extort from the Holloway family in 2010, promising to lead them to Natalee’s body in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A grand jury indicted him that year on one count of wire fraud and extortion, with the two counts each carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Beth Holloway, mother of Natalee Holloway, speaks at the opening of the Natalee Holloway Resource Center Pic: AP

Máximo Altez, Van der Sloot’s lawyer, said his client was being taken from Challapalca prison in Peru’s southern Andes to Piedras Gordas prison on the outskirts of Lima.

Peruvian prison authorities said in a statement: “In the coming days, the INPE (National Penitentiary Institute) will hand over the convict to Interpol Peru with the aim of handing him over to the American authorities of the FBI.”

Mr Altez said Van der Sloot will be transferred to the United States after a medical examination and other administrative processes.

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He estimated that the extradition could take place on Tuesday, but Peruvian authorities have not confirmed this.

Mr. Altez also indicated that his client had agreed to the extradition because he would be in a more comfortable prison in the United States than in Peru.

“He is imprisoned in the worst prison in the world,” Mr. Altez said, referring to the maximum security Challapalca prison.

“Any prison in the United States is a five-star hotel by comparison,” he said.


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