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Joran Van Der Sloot Extradition Process Started For Extortion From Natalee Holloway's Mother

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First Posted: 04/23/2012 7:04 pm Updated: 04/24/2012 1:45 pm

UPDATE: 8: 19 p.m. -- The process to extradite Joran van der Sloot from Peru to the United States has begun, CNN reports. Documents obtained by Maximo Altez, van der Sloot's attorney, show a judge has approved the U.S. request for a provisional detention, the first step in sending him to America to face charges for extorting money from the mother of missing teen Natalee Holloway.

PREVIOUSLY:

Joran van der Sloot, the convicted killer of a young Peruvian woman and the prime suspect in the disappearance of missing American teen Natalee Holloway, could soon be extradited to the United States.

Van der Sloot's attorney, Maximo Altez, has confirmed Peruvian authorities are evaluating a request by the U.S. to extradite the Dutchman for extorting Holloway's mother.

Altez said his client is afraid of extradition because U.S. prisons have a reputation for being "very hard" on inmates, according to the Associated Press.

On Jan. 13, Van der Sloot, 24, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder of Stephany Flores.

The Peruvian business student was found stabbed to death in van der Sloot's Lima hotel room on June 2, 2010. Police in Peru say Flores, 21, was killed on May 30, the five-year anniversary of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala., who vanished while on a class trip to Aruba. She was last seen leaving an Oranjestad nightclub with van der Sloot, then a 17-year-old Dutch honors student living in Aruba.

Holloway's body has never been found, and van der Sloot has not been charged in her disappearance. He was, however, indicted in the U.S. on charges that he extorted $25,000 from the young woman's parents. Prosecutors said that in exchange for the money, he promised to reveal how Holloway died and the location of her body.

Van der Sloot would probably face a five- to 10-year sentence for the alleged extortion.

The most recent developments were predicted months ago by Michael Griffith, senior partner at the International Legal Defense Counsel. In a previous interview with The Huffington Post, Griffith, whose most renowned case, involving an American incarcerated in a Turkish prison, was the basis for the film and book "Midnight Express." said he expected van der Sloot to be extradited. However, Griffith said the move would likely be a ploy so the U.S. could get him in their grips for Holloway’s alleged murder -- something that could earn him a life sentence.

"The key to that is that the U.S. has jurisdiction over anybody, anywhere in the world, who kills or injures a U.S. citizen. It kind of originated with the Leon Klinghoffer case," said Griffith.

In 1985, Klinghoffer, 69, and his wife were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary on the cruise ship Achille Lauro. Palestinian terrorists hijacked the liner, and Klinghoffer was murdered and thrown overboard. The hijackers were later given safe passage on a flight to Tunisia, but U.S. military forces intercepted the plane and forced it to land in Italy, where the suspects were taken into custody.

That principle, which has been used in limited cases, is being used more often today and could be applied to the Holloway case. Van der Sloot's alleged statements, along with his previous confessions in the case, are enough for U.S. authorities to make a circumstantial murder case against him, Griffith said.

PHOTOS: JORAN VAN DER SLOOT (Article Continues Below)

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  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot attends the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Judges Victoria Montoya, center, Otilia Vargas, left, and Pilar Carbonel speak before the continuation of Joran van der Sloot's trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Men protest against Joran van der Sloot outside San Pedro prison where his murder trial is held in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. The sign at center reads in Spanish "Dutch assassin." (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, left, enters the courtroom for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, Jan. 11, 2012. The Dutch citizen pleaded guilty to in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Police officers escort Joran Van der Sloot, second right, during a press conference at a police station in Lima, on June 5, 2010. The young Dutchman wanted in the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, and who also remains the lone suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway, arrived in Peru's capital to face justice, after being handed over by Chilean police at the two countries' border. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, center, enters the courtroom for the start of his murder trial held at the San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 6, 2012. Van der Sloot, 24, stands trial Friday for the 2010 murder of the 21-year-old Stephany Flores, of Peru, nearly seven years after he became the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of an American teenager on holiday in Aruba. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, front right, sits in court for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, Jan. 11, 2012. The Dutch citizen pleaded guilty to in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot sits in the courtroom as he waits for the continuation of his murder trial to start at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot was charged with killing and robbing Stephany Flores, a woman he met while gambling at a Peruvian casino. Flores was killed on May 30, 2010 -- exactly five years after Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba. Van der Sloot has been linked, but never charged to her disappearance. (Domingo al Dia, America Television Channel / AP)

  • Stephany Flores

    Stephany Flores in an undated photo from Peru's National Identitfication Registry. Her dead body was found June 2, 2010 in Joran van der Sloot's hotel room. (Registro Nacional de Identificacion y Estado Civil / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Ricardo Flores, father of slain Stephany Flores, arrives to San Jorge prison for the trial of Joran Van der Sloot in the Lurigancho area of Lima, Peru, on Jan. 6, 2012. Van der Sloot, 24, stands trial for the 2010 murder of the 21-year-old Flores, of Peru, nearly seven years after he became the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of an American teenager on holiday in Aruba. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    This image from security footage provided by the Lima police alledgedly shows Joran van der Sloot, left, and Stephany Flores as they enter his hotel room May 30, 2010. (Lima Police Handout / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    This image from security footage provided by the Lima police alledgedly shows Joran van der Sloot, as he leaves his hotel room May 30, 2010 -- the day Stefany Flores was allegedly killed in his hotel room. (Lima Police Handout / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    A shaman performs a ritual for the spiritual punishment of Joran van der Sloot, whose picture is posted on the wall, before van der Sloot's trial outside San Pedro prison. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Posters of Joran van der Sloot, right, and Stepahny Flores, left, sit among items from a shaman ritual outside San Pedro prison to punish the Dutchman's spirit. Van der Sloot, 24, is charged with killing 21-year-old Flores in his Lima hotel room on May 30, 2010, after the two left a casino together in the day's wee hours. The poster of Flores reads in Spanish "Stephany Flores asks for justice" and the poster of Van der Sloot reads "Spiritual punishment." (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Chilean authorities escort Joran van der Sloot, center, in Santiago, Chile on June 4, 2010. The Dutch man was detained after crossing the border from Peru, where authorities said he killed Stephany Flores. Van der Sloot was previously arrested in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalie Holloway, but later released by Dutch authorities. (Aliosha Marquez, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Police show a photo of Joran van der Sloot at a news conference in Lima, on June 2, 2010. (AP)

  • Peruvian Newspapers

    A man displays Peruvian newspapers with front pages allusive to the murder of 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores in Lima. (Cris Bouroncle, AFP / Getty Images)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    In this Dec. 7, 2007 photo, Joran van der Sloot, right, sits in a car with his father, Paulus Van Der Sloot, after Joran was released from custody near Oranjestad, Aruba. For all his garrulous charm, Joran van der Sloot didn't do himself any favors in his online interactions, where his generation tends to reveal a lot about itself. (Pedro Famous Diaz, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    In this Sept. 6, 2005 photo, eighteen-year-old Joran van der Sloot, a resident of Aruba who had been held by police on the Caribbean island in connection with the disappearance of American tourist Natalee Holloway, exits Schiphol airport accompanied by unidentified relatives in Amsterdam, Netherlands. For all his garrulous charm, Joran van der Sloot didn't do himself any favors in his online interactions, where his generation tends to reveal a lot about itself. (Peter Dejong, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, center, the Dutch teen detained in connection with the disappearance of Alabama high school graduate Natalee Holloway on May 30, arrives to the hospital for DNA tests in Oranjestad, Aruba, on July 20, 2005. Investigators said that they planned to conduct DNA tests on blond hair attached to duct tape that was found along the coast to see if it came from Holloway - in a possible break to the six-week-old mystery. (Dino Tromp, AP)

  • Natalee Holloway

    An undated photo of Natalee Holloway that was released by her family after her disappearance. (Family Photo / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, 20, takes a walk to the local supermarket near the house of his parents in Oranjestad, Aruba, in Dec. 2007. (Raul Henriquez, AFP/Getty Images)

  • Joran van der Sloot looks over his shoulder as he leaves the courtroom after his murder trial was postponed at the San Jorge prison in Lima, Peru, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot asked for more time Friday to decide how to plead in his trial for the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman. His case was postponed until Jan. 11.

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot looks back from his seat after entering the courtroom for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. The Dutch citizen pleaded guilty to in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    People protest against Joran van der Sloot as they hold up an enlarged picture of his police mug shot outside San Pedro prison where his murder trial is held in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot arrives to the courtroom for his sentence at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 13, 2012. Van der Sloot will be sentenced Friday for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a young woman he met at a Lima casino. Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder and theft. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot sits in the courtroom before his sentencing at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 13, 2012. Van der Sloot will be sentenced Friday for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a young woman he met at a Lima casino. Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder and theft. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Members of the media take pictures of Joran van der Sloot, right, sitting in the courtroom at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 13, 2012. Van der Sloot will be sentenced Friday for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a young woman he met at a Lima casino. Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder and theft. (Karel Navarro, AP)

Whether or not van der Sloot is charged with murder in the U.S. is yet to be seen. However, Max Altez, the attorney who briefly represented van der Sloot after his arrest in the Flores case, said he expects authorities in Peru to agree to the extradition. He also expects his former client to be found guilty of extortion.

"He will be sentenced in U.S. and then be brought to Peru to serve his sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores," Altez predicted to News America .

Authorities in Peru have yet to comment on when they will make a decision on the extradition. Meanwhile, van der Sloot remains imprisoned at Piedras Gordas prison in Ancon.

Clarification: This piece has been edited to emphasize the fact that Klinghoffer is not related to the events in the book "Midnight Express."

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