Prosecutor discredits Holloway confession

A
Dutch man once considered a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama
teenager Natalee Holloway has told a television station he dumped her body in a
swamp, Aruba’s chief prosecutor said.

However,
Joran van der Sloot’s claims to Dutch station RTL-5 are “unbelievable,”
prosecutor Peter Blanken said.

RTL-5
said it had “acquired exclusive material containing a statement by Joran
van der Sloot” regarding Holloway’s disappearance in 2009.

“Obviously,
our initial response was sceptical,” RTL-5 director of programming Remko van
Westerloo said. “However, we did feel that this interview required
thorough research. We’ve spoken to a variety of experts and several critics.
These findings resulted in a TV special which will air this Sunday. It’s up to
the viewers to form their own opinions on the matter.”

Blanken
says that van der Sloot says in the interview that he dumped Holloway’s body
“in a swamp on the north end of the island.”

“He
was very unspecific,” Blanken said.

Blanken
said RTL contacted him about the interview last summer, and the station showed
the interview to him to get his reaction. He said his office and Aruban police
investigated.

“We
tried to verify it,” Blanken said. “It couldn’t be true. We talked
with several witnesses and reviewed several facts. The story is unbelievable
and not true, in my opinion.”

Holloway was 18 when last seen in the
early hours of 30 May 2005, leaving an Oranjestad, Aruba, nightclub with van
der Sloot and two other men, brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. She was
visiting Aruba with about 100 classmates celebrating their graduation from
Mountain Brook High School in suburban Birmingham, Alabama.

Holloway
failed to show up for her flight home the following day, and her packed bags
were found in her hotel room.

Van
der Sloot and the Kalpoes were arrested and released in 2005 in connection with
the case. In 2007, they were arrested a second time after Aruba‘s then-chief prosecutor, Hans
Mos, said he had received new evidence in the case.

Van
der Sloot, who was attending college in the Netherlands, was brought back to
Aruba. But judges ruled the new evidence — which included an Internet chat the
same day Holloway disappeared with one of the three youths saying she was dead
— was not enough to keep them jailed.

In
2008, prosecutors sought unsuccessfully to arrest van der Sloot a third time
after a videotape surfaced on Dutch television. In it, van der Sloot tells a
man he considered to be his friend that he had sex with Holloway on the beach after
leaving the nightclub, then she “started shaking” and lost
consciousness. He said he panicked when he could not resuscitate her and called
a friend who had a boat. The two put Holloway’s body in the boat, he said, and
then he went home. The friend told him the next day that he had carried the
body out and dumped it in the ocean.

“I
didn’t lose a minute of sleep over it,” van der Sloot said on the tape.

But
an Aruba court ruled there was not enough evidence to re-arrest him. Aruban
prosecutors said authorities had met with van der Sloot in the Netherlands, but
in a two-hour interview he denied any role in Holloway’s disappearance.

Van
der Sloot acknowledged to a Dutch television program he made the comments, but
said he was lying. “That is what he wanted to hear, so I told him what he
wanted to hear,” he said.