A Dutch man suspected in the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old American Natalee Holloway will be extradited from Peru to the United States in connection with a fraud case, Peruvian officials said Wednesday.
Joran van der Sloot is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.
He was arrested but never convicted in the disappearance of Holloway, who went missing in Aruba in 2005.
The US case involves fraud and extortion related to Holloway’s mother, Elizabeth Holloway, who goes by Beth, Peru’s government said in a statement on the approval of van der Sloot’s transfer to the US.
In a statement Wednesday, Beth Holloway again blamed van der Sloot for her daughter’s death.
«It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many will pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee,» she said.
Van der Sloot was criminally indicted in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2010 on two federal counts related to extortion and wire fraud, according to court records.
A criminal complaint filed in 2010 alleges that van der Sloot had thousands of dollars sent to the Netherlands with the promise that the location of Natalee Holloway’s remains and details of her death would be revealed.
federal prosecutors said in 2010 that van der Sloot had Beth Holloway wire $25,000 in total: $15,000 to her account in the Netherlands and an additional $10,000 to a lawyer in New York who was going to take that money personally to van der Sloot in Aruba.
He identified to the attorney a site in Aruba where he said Holloway’s remains were buried, but that was a lie, federal prosecutors said.
The charges in that case were interference with commerce by threat or violence and wire fraud, according to court records.
The plot involved an attempt to transfer a total of $250,000, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit in that US fraud case.
The lawyer Máximo Altez, who represents van der Sloot, told the Associated Press that he will fight against the decision once he is duly notified by the Peruvian government.
“I am going to challenge that resolution,” Altez said. «I am going to oppose, since he has the right to defense.»
Holloway, who is from Alabama, has never been found. He took a high school graduation trip to Aruba and never returned. A judge later declared her dead.
Van der Sloot was arrested and released in that case and was never charged.
The Associated Press contributed.