First hearing in Joran van der Sloot trial

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The first public hearing in the trial of Dutchman Joran van der Sloot will be held in the Peruvian capital Lima on Monday. He is accused of killing Peruvian Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room on 30 May 2010.

The hearing will provide Van der Sloot’s lawyer with an opportunity to react to the charges brought against their client. His lawyer has argued that the accused killed Stephany Flores “from a violent emotion’ and that the appropriate charge should therefore be manslaughter, which carries a sentence of between 6 and 20 years in prison.

However, The Public Prosecutors’ Office announced at the end of August that Van der Sloot would be charged with murder and robbery and that it would seek a 30-year jail sentence and damages to the amount of 50,000 euros for the Flores family.

Joran van der Sloot was arrested on 3 June 2010 in Chile near the coastal resort of Viña del Mar. He was handed to the Peruvian authorities two days later and has been in custody in Lima's Castro Castro prison since 11 June 2010.

The three taxi drivers who drove Van der Sloot to the Chilean border will also be indicted on charges of obstructing justice. The public prosecutor is seeking a five-year prison sentence and a fine of 1,250 euros against the three.

Joran van der Sloot is still the main suspect in the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba in May 2005. He has never been charged due to lack of evidence.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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