Arubans 'regret' storm over reconstruction

13th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Aruba's Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) has expressed regret about a row over the choice of an actor has distracted attention away from the goal of the television reconstruction of the events leading up to the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway.

13 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — Aruba's Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) has expressed regret about a row over the choice of an actor has distracted attention away from the goal of the television reconstruction of the events leading up to the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway.

Minister plenipotentiary Paul Comenencia of the Netherlands Antilles accused prosecutors and the makers of the re-enactment of "consciously and manifestly distorting the facts of the case" by picking a non-white actor to play the main suspect, white Dutch teenager Joran van der Sloot.

Comenencia suggested the choice of actor reinforced a Dutch stereotype about criminals. He said this raised questions about the accuracy of the rest of the reconstruction.

Van der Sloot was one of the three youths Holloway left an Aruban nightclub in a car with on 30 May 2005. She has not been seen since. The other two in the car were Surinamese brothers Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18.

The re-enactment was featured on a special edition of Dutch crime-stoppers programme 'Opsporing Verzocht' on Tuesday evening. It was broadcast on Aruba hours later.

The three young men deny harming Holloway or being responsible in any way for her disappearance. Prosecutors say they remain suspects in the case.

Answering Comenencia's criticism, the Aruban prosecution service emphasised that the aim of generating tips from the public to help solve the mystery of Holloway's disappearance. The reconstruction, the authorities said, was based on the file built up by investigators and was put together with great care. The stand-ins for Van der Sloot and his two companions were chosen from the police academy on the island.

The cadet who played Van der Sloot has a light skin colour and is white by Aruban standards, the prosecution service said. There was no question of conscious stereotyping. 

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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