June 18, 2010

Aruban authorities ask Natalee Holloway's father to delay search

Posted: 07:53 AM ET

Aruban authorities are urging Natalee Holloway's father, Dave Holloway, to delay volunteer search efforts in her disappearance until police get better information on the case from Peruvian investigators who have spoken to Joran van der Sloot, prosecutor Peter Blanken said.

Police do not want their investigation jeopardized or possible evidence contaminated in the Bubali Bird Sanctuary, a swamp area where Joran once said he dumped Holloway's body, Blanken said. Aruban authorities wish to search a more focused area once they receive more information from van der Sloot and his laptop, which may include files linking him to the Holloway disappearance.

Earlier, Blanken said investigators from Aruba would not be able to question van der Sloot until Peruvian authorities finish their probe of the May 30 slaying of Stephany Flores. The formalities of Peruvian law also will determine the time frame, the prosecutor said.

Aruban and Peruvian authorities agreed to "help each other" in the Flores case.


Filed under: International • Justice • Natalee Holloway

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June 17, 2010

Family of slain woman hopes for closure for Natalee Holloway's family

Posted: 07:47 AM ET

The family of a Peruvian woman slain in Lima last month said it hopes the eventual trial of Joran Van der Sloot can ease its pain and that of another family thousands of miles away.

Van der Sloot, who is being held in Peru in connection with the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, is also the lead suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba.

"I think the pain they are feeling, it's very hard," Stephany's brother Enrique Flores told CNN's "Larry King Live" from Lima. "We saw the body of our sister. They don't have the body of their daughter."

Van der Sloot, a 22-year-old Dutch citizen, was arrested twice in Aruba in connection with Holloway's disappearance but released for lack of evidence. Her body has never been found.

Van der Sloot has stated to Peruvian police that he wants to talk to Aruban officials about the Holloway case, Aruban Attorney General Robert F. Pietersz said Wednesday.

"I am not worried. I trust the justice in Peru. So, we are just waiting for the judgment," said Stephany's sister-in-law Carolina Jorge. "We are praying that this case (will bring closure) ... for us and ... for Natalee's family, too."


Filed under: International • Justice • Larry King Live • Natalee Holloway

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June 14, 2010

Police release Joran van der Sloot's confession in murder case

Posted: 07:39 AM ET

Joran van der Sloot said he elbowed murder victim Stephany Flores Ramirez in the face before strangling her and then suffocating her with his own shirt, according to transcripts of his confession released by Peruvian authorities.

The transcripts give shocking details of the murder van der Sloot is accused of and also gives the public its first glimpse of why van der Sloot says the alleged murder took place.

"There was blood everywhere," van der Sloot said in the transcripts. "What am I going to do now. I had blood on my shirt. there was also blood on the bed, so, I took my shirt and put it on her face, pressing hard, until I killed Stephany."

Peruvian authorities charged van der Sloot with murder last week in the death of Flores, a 21-year-old student. Van der Sloot, a 22-year-old Dutch citizen has also been considered the main suspect in the well-publicized 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba.


Meanwhile, van der Sloot's attorney is contesting the confession – here's the latest on that part of the story:

Filed under: International • Justice

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June 12, 2010

Report: Joran van der Sloot may be charged with 'cover-up'

Posted: 09:30 AM ET

(via Living in Peru)

Edward Alvarez, the lawyer representing the Flores family, considered that the legal process against Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot should include another charge, since he tried to take Stephany Flores' truck.

“He took the truck away. The truck may have contained more evidence that we could be using now. He obviously tried to make them disappear. That is cover-up, a third charge,” said Alvarez.

READ MORE from Living in Peru

Filed under: International • Justice

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June 11, 2010

Joran van der Sloot to face 'worst of the worst' prison if convicted

Posted: 08:35 AM ET

If Joran van der Sloot is found guilty of murder in Peru, he certainly won't be living the life of luxury he's accustomed to.

"He'll be put in Lurigancho Prison, which is the worst of the worst," Michael Griffith, senior partner at the International Legal Defense Counsel, tells AOL News. "They should have a sign above the door there saying, 'All those who pass this way leave all hope behind.' "

Griffith has counseled and represented clients in more than 40 countries on a variety of charges. His most renowned case, involving an American incarcerated in a Turkish prison, was the basis for the film and book "Midnight Express."

Having visited more than two dozen foreign prisons, Griffith says Lurigancho is in a world of its own.

"There are 35 guys in a room there," he says. "They don't have beds, they go to the bathroom on the floor and the showers run once a week for 15 minutes. Fifty percent of the inmates have AIDS or tuberculosis, and you can die from eating the food."


National Geographic's 'Inside the World's Toughest Prisons' featured Lurigacho in an episode – click HERE to see pictures and videos of this notorious place.

Filed under: International • Justice

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Police: Joran van der Sloot says he knows location of Holloway's body

Posted: 08:08 AM ET

Lima, Peru (CNN) - Joran van der Sloot told investigators during an interrogation that he knows the location of Natalee Holloway's body, but he would neither identify the location nor say what happened to her the night of her disappearance, a Peruvian police official told CNN.

"In the interrogation done to the Dutch citizen, he says he knew the location of the corpse of the American citizen, but that he was going to explain everything to Aruban police," said Miguel Canlla, head of the homicide division of the Peruvian national police investigative unit, on Thursday.

Van der Sloot, a 22-year-old Dutch citizen, is suspected of killing a 21-year-old woman in Lima last month. Stephany Flores Ramirez was found beaten to death in a hotel room registered in van der Sloot's name. Van der Sloot was captured in Chile and returned last week to Peru, where authorities say he confessed to killing Flores.

He was twice arrested in connection with the 2005 disappearance of Holloway, but was released for lack of evidence. Holloway was on a class trip to Aruba when she went missing.


Filed under: International • Justice • Natalee Holloway

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June 9, 2010

LKL – Natalee Holloway's family glad Joran van der Sloot going to prison

Posted: 07:44 AM ET
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June 8, 2010

Report: Joran van der Sloot confesses to killing Peruvian

Posted: 12:30 PM ET


(via livinginPeru)

Joran van der Sloot admitted he killed Stephany Flores (21), because she allegedly used his laptop to look for information regarding who he was, according to a high-rank Peruvian government official.

According to a report aired by local TV station news hour America Noticias, van der Sloot said that his anger exploded after she used his laptop without his permission to perform an internet search, and thus learned about Natalee Holloway's case.

“I didn't mean to. She intruded into my private life,” said van der Sloot. “She had no right... I approached to her, she was scared, we quarreled and she tried to run away. I grabbed her by the neck and hit her...” he continued.

They had arrived to the TAC hotel after 5 a.m. At 8:10 a.m. he went to buy coffee at a convenience store nearby and when he came back to the bedroom, found Stephany reading about his background on his laptop.

This confession provides grounds to accuse van der Sloot of homicide instead of aggravated robbery or aggravated murder, which have longer prison penalties.

(Read More from livinginPeru)

Filed under: International • Justice

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May 21, 2010

Madonna condemns sentence of Malawi gay couple

Posted: 10:29 AM ET


Madonna decries the ruling handed down Thursday in Blantyre, Malawi that will send a gay couple to prison.

"Today, Malawi took a giant step backward," the singer told in a statement. "The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved."

Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 33, and Steven Monjeza, 25, were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency and sentenced to 14 years of hard labor in prison.

Homosexuality is seen as an abomination in the South African country and most gays, lesbians and transgender people do not show public affections. The couple held an engagement party that was later splashed across the front page of a local newspaper. They were arrested two days later without bail.

According to the New York Times, Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said he was especially offended that the couple celebrated their relationship in public with an engagement party.


Filed under: International • Madonna

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April 12, 2010

Adopted boy from Russia sent back; What do you think?

Posted: 12:08 PM ET

This is a story we're going to be discussing on tonight's show.  We're interested to know what you think, and if you have any personal adoption stories you'd want to share with us.

A 7-year-old Russian boy adopted by an American family last year was put on a return flight to Moscow this week because of violent and psychotic behavior, according to a Tennessee grandmother.

The child showed up unannounced at Russia's child protection ministry Thursday, triggering an international investigation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a Russian TV channel on Friday that his country has banned future adoptions by Americans until the United States signs a new agreement to regulate them.

(Read More)

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Filed under: Adoption • International • Larry King Live

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