Joran van der Sloot may be returning to the US – in about 28 years, or less.
A lawyer for the Dutchman, who confessed to murdering a Peruvian college student and is suspected in the death of Natalee Holloway, will serve out his 28-year sentence in Peru then will be extradited to the United States, his lawyer said. Peru’s Supreme Court approved the extradition.
Lawyer Maximo Altez says the court's Friday decision is not final. Peru's justice minister and Cabinet must endorse it.
At the end of the day, the decision on whether to extradite Joran is political.
- Lawyer Maximo Altez
Altez told The Associated Press that the Supreme Court's decision follows a pattern in Peru "because there are various people in the same situation and they will all be extradited when they finish their sentences. There's no reason Joran van der Sloot should be different."
Van der Sloot is appealing his sentence and the Supreme Court said that if the appeal is successful he could be extradited immediately thereafter.
Altez said his client would resist that.
"At the end of the day, the decision on whether to extradite Joran is political," he said.
He contends Van der Sloot could not receive a fair trial in the United States "because he's been satanized by the press. He is seen as a demon in the United States and would be judged by a jury made up of common people who are influenced by the press and would surely give him the maximum sentence."
Van der Sloot is imprisoned in the Piedras Gordas prison just north of Lima.
His attorney said he expects his client will serve at least two-thirds of his 28--year sentence before being paroled.
Van der Sloot faces extortion charges in Alabama in connection with the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba exactly five years before he killed a Peruvian student in Lima.
Van der Sloot faces an indictment in the U.S. for allegedly accepting $25,000 in early 2010 in exchange for an unfulfilled promise to lead Holloway's mother's lawyer to the body after her disappearance in Aruba.
Van der Sloot remains the prime suspect in the Holloway disappearance and the U.S.
He was sentenced in January after confessing to beating and strangling 21-year-old Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room five years to the day after Holloway disappeared on Aruba, the Dutch dependency where he grew up.
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