I was tricked into confessing: Dutch murder suspect

21st June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Dutchman suspected of killing a 21-year-old Peruvian woman in Lima said he was tricked into signing a confession by police, according to a Dutch newspaper report Monday.

"They told me, 'If you sign the papers, you'll be extradited back to the Netherlands'," 22-year-old Joran van der Sloot said in an interview with De Telegraaf from his prison cell in the Peruvian capital.

"In my total panic, I signed the papers even though I didn't understand what was written on them," he said. "During the interview I was horribly afraid and I felt increasingly depressed. I just wanted to leave."

Stephanie Flores, the 21-year-old daughter of an industrialist, was found dead on June 1 in a hotel room in Lima.

"How all this happened, I will say later. My lawyer is interested in the first place in all the procedural errors that have taken place," said Van der Sloot. "I should not be sitting here."

Van der Sloot was arrested on June 11 and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated robbery for allegedly taking more than 10,000 dollars (8,000 euros) of gambling money from Flores, Peruvian police said.

He was due to be questioned by a judge Monday.

The Dutchman is also the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of 21-year-old American Natalee Holloway on the island of Aruba. According to Peruvian police, he told them after his arrest that he knew where to find Holloway's body.

In an interview with the same newspaper Saturday, Van der Sloot's mother said her son suffers from psychological problems and was scheduled to receive treatment at a mental institution in May but instead departed for Peru.

"He lied so much we despaired. He would say to me: 'Mum, sometimes I don't know whether something is the truth or a lie'. Joran is sick in the head but he doesn't want help," she said.

© 2010 AFP

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