Joran in hiding but available for questioning
Joran van der Sloot has gone into hiding, but remains available for further police questioning.5 February 2008
HILVERSUM - Joran van der Sloot has gone into hiding, but remains available for further police questioning, his lawyer Bert de Rooij said Monday on current events programme NOVA.
The police know where to find Van der Sloot. A laptop and computer were confiscated on Monday during the search of homes in Arnhem where Joran had recently stayed.
Public prosecutor on Aruba Hans Mos has accepted Van der Sloot's offer of further questioning. He hopes to talk to him soon. The questioning could take place before the end of the week, says De Rooij.
When in custody for a second time on Aruba recently, Van der Sloot refused to talk. Now he is prepared to go to police to give a statement voluntarily. Crime reporter Peter R. de Vries said this was "good news."
The reason for Joran's change of mind is De Vries' broadcast on Sunday. The crime reporter showed hidden camera footage of Joran confessing to getting rid of Natalee Holloway's body on Aruba. The lawyer said that De Vries did not give Van der Sloot an opportunity to comment on the footage.
The lawyer also says the choice of footage is "questionable." Van der Sloot continues to maintain that the story he told the informant while being filmed was entirely fabricated. "What I said there can be shown to be false," he has told his lawyer.
Because of the media attention and threats to his person, Van der Sloot is staying at an undisclosed location. "We have decided to keep Joran out of the storm in order to prevent further mishaps," his lawyer said. The responses to De Vries' broadcast have taken on the character of a popular tribunal, he says.
"Maybe I should leave the Netherlands," Joran said Monday evening on the website of free newspaper DAG. Writer Zvezdana Vukojevic, who collaborated on Van der Sloot's book on the case, said he had a conversation online with the suspect on Monday.
"I don't think I can go to school here anymore," Van der Sloot said. "Lots of people are angry." The young man avoided Vukojevic's question of whether he is currently in Friesland, as rumour has it.
Van der Sloot said in the chat that he and his lawyer watched De Vries' programme on Sunday. "I didn't cry," he told Vukojevic.
"It went exactly as I thought. It's unfortunate they cut out everything that Patrick said." Van der Sloot says he does realise how serious the situation is. "I did not choose to share this with the outside world. I though it was 'just between me and my dealer'."
In the chat with Vukojevic Van der Sloot suggests that Patrick van der Eem, the man whom he told what reportedly had happened to Natalee Holloway on the hidden camera footage, uses coke often. "He snorts so much that his nose bleeds." He also insinuated that they have had sex with girls in a hotel room together.
Patrick van der Eem, the man to whom Joran van der Sloot talked about the Natalee Holloway case, says he had to keep himself in check during the conversations with Joran in the car.
On the television programme Pauw & Witteman, Van der Eem said on Monday evening that he had great difficulty with how Joran talked about Natalee and what he had done. "So remorseless," said Van der Eem. "But if I'd stopped to throw him out of the car we wouldn't have gotten any further."
The man said he felt it was "his duty" to work with Peter R. de Vries to set a trap for Van der Sloot. Van der Eem contests the claim from Van der Sloot's lawyer Bert de Rooij that Joran had little money and therefore wanted to do business with Van der Eem.
Van der Eem says Van der Sloot gambled large sums of money and regularly won a lot at poker. It was Joran in fact that was lending out money, Van der Eem says.
Van der Sloot's lawyer De Rooij said on the television programme NOVA that his client had contact with Van der Eem by sms text message until shortly before De Vries' programme on Sunday. "In poker terms" the two wanted to prove who was the best.
During the broadcast Van der Eem even tried to call Van der Sloot, De Rooij says, but Joran refused to answer. Van der Eem confirmed on Pauw & Witteman that the two had exchanged a lot of text messages, but claims to have stopped replying while Joran continued to message him.
De Rooij portrayed Van der Sloot on NOVA as a "compulsive liar" who is addicted to gambling. He wanted to improve his stature in Van der Eem's eyes in order to get money. Because of Joran's lack of "criminal credibility", Van der Sloot therefore made up a story to Van der Eem about Natalee.
Van der Eem in turn says he cannot imagine that Joran only wanted to impress him with his confession. Van der Eem admits to his criminal record and has served his time, he said.
The American media have as yet paid little attention to the 'Joran tapes.' The primaries in 24 states dominate the news today on Super Tuesday.
On Monday evening US news broadcaster ABC aired Peter R. de Vries's programme, which drew more than 7 million viewers in the Netherlands on Sunday.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news