A Dutch national, imprisoned for murder in Peru, has agreed to be handed over to the United States to face charges related to the disappearance of an American woman in Aruba nearly two decades ago, his lawyer said on Saturday.
Joran Van der Sloot, 35, is accused in a US federal court of extortion and fraud against the mother of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old who went missing during a 2005 high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island.
Van der Sloot is the primary suspect in the teenager’s disappearance.
“He (has) accepted, he has agreed to be transferred to be judged in the United States,” Van der Sloot’s lawyer Maximo Altez told AFP.
The suspect had previously fought against an extradition to the United States.
According to the indictment, he is facing charges for extorting Holloway’s parents, telling them he would reveal their daughter’s whereabouts in exchange for $25,000. But once he received the money, Van der Sloot fled to Peru.
The country in 2014 approved Van der Sloot’s eventual extradition to be tried in the United States, which was to take place at the end of his murder sentence, in 2038.
But earlier this month, Peruvian authorities changed tack and approved his temporary transfer to the United States early.
He will be handed over to the FBI, and then, once proceedings in the southern US state of Alabama are finished, returned to Peru to finish his sentence there.
Van der Sloot was freed in Aruba in 2009 due to lack of evidence in the Holloway case.
While in Peruvian prison years later, in 2016, he told two journalists he had murdered Holloway, unaware he was being recorded.
Holloway’s disappearance received widespread media coverage in the United States.
Van der Sloot is currently serving a 28-year sentence for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores, whom he met in a casino.
© Agence France-Presse