Joran van der Sloot is fighting his extradition from Peru to the United States, his Peruvian lawyer Maximo Altez announced. According to the lawyer, Van der Sloot decided to appeal after a visit from employees of the Dutch embassy, NOS reports.
The 35-year-old Dutchman is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for the murder of 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephany Flores in 2010 and another 18-year sentence for drug smuggling. In the United States, he is wanted for extorting the family of Natalee Holloway, an American girl who disappeared in Aruba in 2005 after being seen with Van der Sloot.
Last month, Peru announced that it would temporarily extradite Van der Sloot to be tried in the extortion case. The extradition was scheduled for Thursday. In the run-up to this, the Peruvian authorities moved Van der Sloot to a prison in Lima this past weekend.
According to Altez, Van der Sloot initially did not intend to challenge his extradition because he wanted to prove his innocence in the United States. But he changed his mind after employees of the Dutch embassy visited him, the lawyer said. They convinced him to appeal, the lawyer said.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not confirm the embassy’s involvement with Van der Sloot. The Ministry doesn’t comment on individual cases, a spokesperson told the Telegraaf. “The Netherlands cannot interfere in the local legal process of another country,” the spokesperson said. “We provide consular assistance, including visits, to all Dutch nationals in foreign detention who wish it.”