Dutch youth admits role in disappearance of US teenager
4 February 2008
AMSTERDAM – Dutch youth Joran van der Sloot admitted being personally involved in the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005, it was reported Sunday night.
The revelations came during a series of conversations secretly recorded for Dutch crime journalist Peter R de Vries, aired during a special two-hour broadcast.
In the video material, which was made in a car, Van der Sloot repeatedly gives detailed accounts of what happened on 30 May 2005, when he met Holloway.
The confessions are made to a "friend," who was in fact working for crime journalist De Vries.
According to Van der Sloot, who was 17 at the time, during the early part of the night, he and two friends partied with Holloway and her American friends in a local bar.
Van der Sloot says all girls were "blind drunk" already upon his arrival.
During his presence, Holloway drank more, he says. He himself gave her one drink that contained 75 percent alcohol, as well as a second drink, also with a high-alcohol percentage.
About two hours later, Van der Sloot requested his two friends, who owned a car, to drop him and Holloway off at the beach. He said he wanted to have sexual relations with her, and that she consented.
At the beach, Van der Sloot said he and Holloway made out. He said the girl’s entire body began shake incessantly. Soon afterwards she appeared to be lifeless.
He said he tried to resuscitate the girl without success. Then he hid her body in the bushes, went to a payphone at the beach of the nearby Marriott Hotel, and called a friend with a boat.
The friend arrived, looked at the body and said "she is dead." Together, they carried her on his friend’s boat. The friend then sent Van der Sloot home, and sailed into the deep water to dispose of Holloway’s body, according to the videotape.
Van der Sloot said he used the internet immediately upon arriving home, hoping to convince the police he had been home most of the night.
Van der Sloot’s confessions were enabled with the help of a middle-aged Aruban-Dutch entrepreneur, who met Van der Sloot by chance six months ago and quickly won his trust.
He approached Dutch crime journalist De Vries, who set up hidden cameras in a car.
Although the first recordings begin several months ago, it was not until January – after Van der Sloot had been released for a second time as a suspect by the Aruban police – that he began to talk freely about his involvement in Holloway’s disappearance.
The confessions originate from multiple conversations, recorded between 9 January and 29 January.
Holloway disappeared during the last night of a five-day, high school graduation vacation on the Dutch island of Aruba.
Her case made headlines in the US and the Netherlands, particularly after it turned out Holloway was related to US President George Bush.
Van der Sloot and two friends were suspected of being involved in the girl’s disappearance. But investigations by the Aruban, Dutch and US authorities did not provide enough evidence to arrest him. In December, the case was closed indefinitely.
After seeing the video recordings that were broadcast on Dutch television Sunday night, the Aruban public prosecutor said the case will now be reopened and all efforts will be made to try Van der Sloot for his involvement.
It remains uncertain, however, whether or not Van der Sloot can be tried for murder, manslaughter or only the crime of disposing of a body.
Without a body, it will be difficult to prove whether a murder occurred.
Speaking in the car during one of the recorded conversations, Van der Sloot himself admits, in hindsight, he did not know for certain whether Holloway was dead before her body was dropped in the ocean.
If Van der Sloot can only be tried for involvement of disposing of a body, he can be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Dutch news