Van der Sloot trial starts Friday

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The trial of Dutchman Joran van der Sloot in the Peruvian capital Lima is scheduled to begin on Friday. He is accused of killing Peruvian Stephany Flores in a Lima hotel room on 30 May 2010.

Dutch daily De Telegraaf writes that the Peruvian authorities are making preparations for his transfer to the Challapalca high security prison, which is located next to a military base in a remote, inhospitable and mountainous region of Peru near the Bolivian border. Because of its icy climate, the region is known as the Siberia of Peru.

Last month, the US authorities filed an official request for the extradition of Joran van der Sloot on charges of extorting money from the mother of US teenager Natalee Holloway. Van der Sloot is suspected of being involved in her disappearance from the island of Aruba in 2005. He was never brought to trial because of a lack of evidence.

In March 2010, Joran van der Sloot allegedly contacted Natalee's mother with an offer to reveal the location of her daughter's body and the circumstances surrounding her death for a total amount of 250,000 US dollars. He accepted an advance of 25,000 dollars, but the information he provided proved to be false.

The US authorities are reportedly currently involved in negotiations with the Peruvian government to have Van der Sloot extradited to the US for trial immediately after his trial in Peru ends. He would then be returned to Peru to serve his sentence there before being definitively extradited to the US to serve what is expected to be another long term of imprisonment.

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