Joran Van der Sloot: New Televised Prison Interview

De Telegraaf reporter John van den Heuvel interviewed Joran Van der Sloot at Miguel Castro Castro prison last week. The interview is airing on the program "RTL Extra: Joran Speaks" in the Netherlands this evening. This promo for it is pretty funny, you don't even have to understand Dutch to get the point -- or the hype.

Aside from Joran saying he accepted Natalie Holloway's mother's offer of money because she had made his life miserable for five years, there's not much new.

Joran is locked down 23 hours a day. He teaches English to the prison guards in his cell. He's looking forward to moving to the "foreigner's wing" of the prison soon because he won't be so isolated. He's not fearful of the move. [More...]

He doesn't discuss the Stephany Flores murder in the interview. De Telegraaf makes a big deal of him not denying the murder, but if he's not discussing it, there's no reason he would deny it.

More interesting: Three judges of the Peru appeals court voted on his petition to toss his confession. But only two found it valid, and three votes are needed. So a fourth judge will hear the case this week. If that judge votes to throw it out, it will be 2-2. And because three votes are needed, a 5th judge will have to hear it.

NTL4 reports that Joran was caught trying to smuggle letters to the interviewer.

The Telegraaf also has a lengthy interview in Saturday's paper edition with Maximo Altez, Joran's lawyer. Here's a rough translation of the significant portions:

Lawyer JVDS speaks for the first time.
The man besides the "monster".

Maximo Altez is probably the only Peruvian that supports Joran Van der Sloot. "This is a case that every lawyer dreams of. This is a once in a life time opportunity."

[Joran] has been known in Peru as the "cruel and deadly gringo from Holland" ever since the murder of SF. Only one Peruvian supports him. Ex-cop Maximo Altez now is Joran's support. As a lawyer he has a feared reputation. For the first time the Peruvian "Moszkowicz" (Dutch lawyer) speaks about how he thinks he can defend Joran. "A little bit of torture, oh well, as cops we did that all the time".

...According to his lawyer, JVDS is addicted to gambling. "But without alcohol he is a reasonable normal, not completely mature boy".

...The courtroom is hidden behind dusty walls. [Joran] isnt being shown as a trophy anymore. This week, his steps took him inside the walls of the feared Castro Castro-jail to a small room, where a judge looked at him. "Yes" was all he had to say. While doing that he agreed with the request of the fat Peruvian at his side. Lawyer MA isn't only a legal heavyweight.

Altez smells mistakes, he says." I can beat them, I can feel it."

He is probably the only Peruvian that supports JVDS. "I got the case when he already made a confession. A shame. I had to tell another lawyer that she wasn't Jorans lawyer and that she had to leave. "

MA talks about getting hit by a bullet while working as a cop. He has worked at an anti-terrorism-squad. He Knows very well how the police works. He has been in the USA and has been a lawyer for years already. "Confessions, they exist in all shapes and sizes", he claims. Earlier Joran told the Telegraaf that during his interrogations there was a bucket of water next to the desk.

Altez says with a smile: "Joran hasnt been tortured. But I'm not ruling out that they suggested that it was possible. During my time as a cop, it was pretty normal. We cuffed a suspect behind his back and pulled him up by his arms. Or we tied him to a shelf and put him backwards with his head in a bucket of water. Ha, they are more than willing to talk then!"

"...that didnt happen with Joran. Suspects have rights here too these days. No, they did it in a different way. More cunning. If he confessed, he would be deported to Aruba the next morning. They showed him that black on white."

Acquaintances asked him to be Joran's lawyer. "I didnt even know he was suspected in the Holloway dissapearance. That dissapearance didnt get any attention in Peru. In the US and Holland it was a big story, I found out soon. Soon everyone was calling me. ABC, CNN, Fox, even Larry King called at my cellphone to ask for a response. "No, I do not do interviews", I said. Lovely!"

..."If Joran did it, is between me and him. That doesnt matter. I want to and will win this case. Its possible." MA right now is focussing, with the help of his team, especially on the first days of the investigation, he says."

...He sees possibilities for his client. "It looked like an adequate and investigation, but they made mistakes. Not only the deportation from Chile for which there was no legal standing, but they also didn't follow the rules while dealing with the body of Stephany Flores, he claims."

..."Instead of a bodybag, they put her body - at the request of her father - in a coffin. I say it's possible that bruising happened after. Her body only had a global search. The next day her dad was allowed to bury her, while in murder cases it takes a week to release the body to the family. Her dad used his influence as a businessman there. That was also against the rules."

...The second possibillity is the confession of Joran. "Of course I didn't like that at first. But then I took a better look. During the interrogation, lawyer Luz Romero Chinchay was there as Joran's lawyer. But Joran didnt approve her as his lawyer. There was no approval. Now it turns out that she is a friend of the policeman that was leading the interrogation. Even in Peru that is a serious problem.

...Besides that, the confession says that an official interpreter of the Dutch embassy, Maurice Stein was explaining to Joran what was being said. But his status is less formal. He is a young Dutch business adventurer in Lima that teaches Dutch to Peruvians. He is not a legal interpreter.

...“That are major mistakes. The bigger plan he now has: I want that the confession will be thrown out as evidence. Of course that is a difficult step for a judge. But there were rights violated by getting the confession.

...We only want to proceed if the justice department has a legal spanish-dutch interpreter that can translate for Joran. But last week they still didn’t have one. The judge doesn’t want any new interrogations right now. Neither do Joran and I. From now on he has to keep his mouth shut. See, that’s already a nice point of debate. I don’t talk rubbish.

Altez also "did a happy-dance" because of the psychological report that the Peruvian justice department made. Even though Altez without a doubt wants to prove that Joran was in ‘mental distress’ during the encounter with Stephany Flores, he mostly sees the current official report as a gift.

,,It says; Joran is a psychopath. He is impulsive and is capable of extreme violence towards women. Severe accusations. But the report is based on a two hour talk, with a language barrier. I don’t have to be a brilliant lawyer to explain that this cannot be seen as a serious investigation. A two hour talk! They just put something together and re-wrote stuff from the international media.

The trial against Joran won't start soon. It's possible that it will take another year. In the worst case scenario its going to take 3 years, says Altez. I have two possibillites left to file my complaints in Peru and after that I can go to the International Court in Costa Rica. Until then the case is suspended.

...There are a lot of questions about the arrest of Joran and the FBI undercover operation against him on Aruba. “I'm going to focus first on the very first steps in the investigation that went wrong, says Altez. But after that it has to become clear how the Peruvian police got all that information. For example, there are questions about the videos of the door of Joran's hotel room. The normal security cams give bad quality videos. “They were very cheap cameras, but the videos of the door are very clear. They are from a completely different quality. There should be an investigation into this videos.

....Altez says that he heard from the police that the Chinese owners of Hotel Tac, where Stephany Flores was murdered, have paid 40,000. dollar to officials. "That hotel is under protection of Red Dragon, the Chinese maffia, he claims. "They didnt want a thorough investigation in the hotel. I'm not sure if that is true, but that is what old friends in the polic force tell me. A good reason for an investigation, I think.

...He also has questions about the Albanian that asked Joran to come to Peru. “He is from Uruguay, is Albanian and his name is Elton Garcia. It’s a bit unreal. He was allowed to leave the country after 2 declarations. Investigation should prove if his identity is real or if he works for/with the FBI.

...[On the upside to representing Joran] ...The Peruvian food is so good, you have to watch out for extra kilos. Life is also there to enjoy, he says. “After I took on Jorans case, I was being attacked here. Everyone thought he didn’t deserve a lawyer. People broke my windows, my wife had to temporary leave for Miami. Look, I'm not going to be scared away by that. It has good sides also. I'm being called by people asking if I want to defend them too. Because I'm not afraid.

...A lot of people in Peru think that Joran will get 35 years. But Altez and his team disagree. If the trial will take more than 3.5 years, Joran is even allowed to go home while waiting for the trial. And that is something the lawyer already is musing about. "Because it's not going really fast, right?"

...If he gets convicted, a sentence of 10 to 15 years is more realistic, says Altez. Then there is also the possibility of reduction of the sentence. It's possible that Joran is outside in 5 years. With enough money it's ok to be in prison. Everything is available then. Women, alcohol, everything. Without money is a different story. Mark my words. He isn't convicted yet.

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