Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Preliminary hearing for van der Sloot postponed

Joran van der Sloot is escorted by Peruvian police in Lima on June 5, 2010.Lima, Peru  A preliminary hearing for Joran van der Sloot in Peru was postponed for a week Wednesday, according to Ricardo Flores, the father of the young woman van der Sloot is accused of killing.
A judge postponed the closed-door hearing -- originally scheduled for Wednesday -- because van der Sloot did not have legal representation in the courtroom, Flores said.
His daughter, Stephany Flores, was found dead in a Lima hotel room registered to van der Sloot in May 2010. Police say van der Sloot took money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested a few days later.
Peruvian authorities have yet to file formal charges against van der Sloot. Once the discovery phase of the case ends, prosecutors will file charges and a trial date will be set.
2010: Reporter interviews van der Sloot
2010: Inside van der Sloot's cell
Earlier this month, van der Sloot's defense attorney, Maximo Altez, resigned citing unspecified differences in strategy.
Flores said Wednesday that he expected a trial to begin within 15 days.
The 23-year-old van der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance in Aruba of American Natalee Holloway, who vanished at age 18 while on a graduation trip. He was arrested twice but never charged in connection with her disappearance.
Shortly after his 2010 arrest, a federal grand jury in Alabama indicted him on charges that he tried to extort $250,000 from the Holloway family. Van der Sloot offered to provide what turned out to be bogus information about the whereabouts of Natalee Holloway's remains in exchange for the money, according to the indictment.

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