Dutch reassure US public over Holloway case

1st July 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 July 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch ambassador has told the American public everything possible is being done to resolve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

1 July 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch ambassador has told the American public everything possible is being done to resolve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

"I fully understand and appreciate the feelings of the many Americans who have expressed their legitimate concerns to my Embassy," Ambassador Boudewijn van Eenennaam said in a special statement.

The message posted on the embassy's website continued: "I want to reassure the American people that everything is being done to resolve this tragic case. We are standing together in our efforts and our hope."

The 18-year-old vanished on 30 May while holidaying on Aruba with friends to celebrate their graduation from high school. Aruba is a Caribbean island of 71,000 people and an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Local police suspect Holloway is dead but her body has not been found despite intensive searches over the last four weeks.

Three young men who were the last people seen with Holloway are in custody but they continue to deny any involvement in her disappearance and suspected murder.

The main suspect in custody is the teenage son of a Dutch judge who works on the island. The magistrate was briefly detained himself on suspicion of being an accessory to kidnap leading to the victim's death but the judge was released due to lack of evidence.

Aruba's chief prosecutor Karin Janssen, however, has told CNN the judge advised his son that without a body police would have no case.

Janssen stressed this is not the case as the authorities can prosecute without a body.

The failure to find Holloway dead or alive has led to extensive coverage of the case in the US media and damaged Aruba's reputation as a safe holiday destination. The ability of the local authorities to resolve the case has also been called into question.

The Aruban government was so concerned about the negative impact on the island's image it asked the government in The Hague to intervene.

Ambassador Van Eenennaam's statement on Thursday was an attempt to address the concerns about the case. He stressed the search and investigation was being carried out by the "Aruban and Netherlands authorities, in close cooperation with United States officials and the citizens of Aruba..."

"Much to the dismay of everyone, there has been no sign of her thus far and the pain grows deeper with every passing day. On behalf of the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I want to express my sympathy and support to the family and friends, and to all who are committing their time and efforts to finding Natalee."

He emphasised that the investigation is being conducted according to the rule of law. "The legal system of Aruba is identical to that of the Netherlands, which receives the highest marks from the United States Department of State. It differs from the US system but it is as effective."

Several Aruban, Dutch and US agencies as well as a private firm from Texas hired by the missing teenager's family are carrying on the search.

"We are all working closely together. The Royal Netherlands Marines, the Joint Dutch Aruban Investigation Team, the Netherlands Forensic Institute, the Netherlands Coast Guard and Dutch legal experts are assisting the local authorities in Aruba together with US authorities, including the Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)," the statement said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news, Aruba, Natalee Holloway

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