Joran Van Der Sloot Blames Lawyer for Long Prison Sentence
(LIMA, Peru) -- In two letters, Joran van der Sloot blamed his lawyers for his nearly three-decade prison sentence, while he reiterated he had nothing to do with the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway and begged for forgiveness for the murder of Stephany Flores.
Van der Sloot, 24, is serving 28 years in a Peruvian jail for the murder and robbery of Flores, a 21-year-old business student whose body was found in a Lima hotel room in May 2010 -- five years after the disappearance of Holloway.
"I ask God every day that Stephany's parents can find it in their heart to forgive me," he reportedly wrote in the letters released by his attorney.
Van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen who spent the majority of his adolescence in Caribbean island of Aruba, is the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Holloway, an 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala., who was last seen leaving an Oranjestad nightclub with van der Sloot, then 17, while she was on a class graduation trip to the island.
He was arrested but has never been charged with a crime relating to her disappearance.
The letters, in which he refers to himself as a "psychological mess," were said to have been written in June and released this week by van der Sloot's attorney, Max Altez. In the letter, he asserts that he has "nothing to do with" Holloway's disappearance, while blaming poor legal representation for his long prison sentence. He says that a previous lawyer told him if he pled guilty he would only be jailed for 15 years.
"My rights have been constantly abused," van der Sloot reportedly wrote. "After bad legal advice in which my lawyer promised me I would receive 15 years if I plead guilty, I did....I have a history of psychological problems which were never taken into consideration."
The Peruvian Supreme Court last month ruled that van der Sloot can be extradited to the U.S. to face charges that he extorted $25,000 from Holloway's mother, allegedly telling her that he could give her information that would lead to her daughter's body.
On Sept. 6, 2010, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that van der Sloot admitted to the extortion, saying, "I wanted to get back at Natalee's family. Her parents have been making my life tough for five years."
Van der Sloot confessed to the murder of Flores in January. He said that Flores had been using his laptop without his permission and discovered information linking him to Holloway's disappearance. He is now appealing the 28-year sentence.
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