Peru is evaluating a U.S. extradition request for jailed Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, according to his attorney.

Van der Sloot is the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba. He is serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for killing a woman he met in a Lima casino.

The 24-year-old also faces extortion charges in Alabama for allegedly receiving $25,000 from Holloway's mother to tell her where to find the remains of her daughter, who was 18 when she disappeared while on vacation.

Attorney Máximo Altez said Monday the U.S. extradition request "is in the process of being evaluated" by Peruvian authorities.

The lawyer says his client fears extradition because U.S. prisons have a reputation for being "very hard" on inmates.

Altez told Peruvian daily El Comercio he believed that Van der Sloot had appealed his sentence. Once that process resolved, Altez said, his client would most likely be extradited to the United States to be tried and would return to Peru to serve the remainder of his sentence. 

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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