Joran van der Sloot case: Natalee Holloway suspect’s arraignment went ‘exactly as expected,’ experts say

More than 18 years after Natalie Holloway’s suspect, Joran van der Sloat, disappeared after leaving a bar together in Aruba, he finally met with a U.S. judge. He walked into the courtroom wearing a T-shirt and grinning.

When he first appeared in federal court, there was nothing surprising. The court appointed federal attorney Kevin Butler. Van der Sloat pleaded not guilty and the judge ordered him to be held without bail.

Van der Sloat, who murdered Stephanie Flores, 21, in Peru in 2010, has been extorted by the federal government for trying to sell Holloway’s family the false location of her body for $250,000. and accused of communication fraud.

The 35-year-old is also the prime suspect in the May 2005 disappearance of an 18-year-old boy in Alabama during a Mountain Brook High School alumni trip.

Joran van der Sloat case: Natalie Holloway pleads not guilty to extortion, wire fraud charges

In this courtroom sketch, Yoran van der Sloat is arraigned in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday, June 9, 2023. (William J. Hennessy Jr.)

Judge Gray Borden told van der Sloat that he would only accept pleas of not guilty in the extortion and wire fraud cases, and would later plead guilty if the Dutch decided to plead guilty.

“It worked as expected,” said the Los Angeles resident. Trial Lawyer Neema Rahmani Former federal prosecutor. “The only new information was that van der Sloat spoke perfect English and didn’t need an interpreter.”

WATCH: Holloway friends and publicist comment on Yoran van der Sloat’s acquittal

The court initially suggested it to him, but van der Sloat replied that it was “not really necessary”.

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Joran van der Sloat arraignment court sketch

In this courtroom sketch, Yoran van der Sloat is arraigned in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday, June 9, 2023. (William J. Hennessy Jr.)

Also predictably, the court remanded van der Sloat back into federal marshal custody without bail. He is awaiting sentencing in Peru for the murder of Flores and will be sent back to prison in Peru after a trial in the Northern District of Alabama.

Holloway family and friends walking outside

The Holloway family and friends walk to the US Attorney’s Office in Birmingham, Alabama, Friday, June 9, 2023. Dutch national Joran van der Sloot has pleaded not guilty in federal court to blackmailing the family of American student Natalie Holloway. (Fox News Digital Image Direct)

If convicted, he will return to the mainland after his scheduled release in 2038 and serve up to 40 years in federal prison, though he may not receive the maximum sentence, according to a prominent figure. said Lara Yeretzian, who represents a client who has Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson.

Natalie Holloway suspect Joran van der Sloat arrives in US on extortion and wire fraud charges

Natalie Holloway in her white graduation cap with her father on the left

Natalie Holloway, 18, and her father, Dave Holloway, on May 24, 2005, on graduation day at Mountain Brook High School in Mountain Brook, Alabama. (Credit: Beth Twitty/ZUMA Press)

But her past convictions for murder and drug trafficking will definitely go against him, she said.

“Federal sentencing guidelines will take into account your criminal record. Two fairly serious charges will put him there, which will affect the number and scope he will face.” she said. “But nobody knows what’s going on here, what’s going on behind closed doors. If there’s some kind of deal they’re discussing, where is he going to plead here?”

Joran van der Sloat bending down to sign a document

Van der Sloot signs a document in Chalaparka Prison. (APTN)

She also said she believed prosecutors had evidence in the case that was not publicly known.

“They can obviously connect him to the attempted extortion, not necessarily to her disappearance,” she says. “Does that necessarily mean he kidnapped her? Maybe not, but there’s more evidence we’re unaware of.”

Joran van der Sloat is surrounded by armed guards.

Yoran van der Sloat smiles as he prepares to depart from Lima Airport, Peru, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Colonel Carlos López Aeda, Fox News Digital)


No wonder there was a smile on his face as he stumbled into the courtroom. Before leaving Peru earlier this week, he was photographed smiling surrounded by Interpol’s tactical team.

“He’s really cocky, isn’t he?” said Yeretzian. “And maybe he’s confident that he didn’t do anything or just doesn’t care. He’s already in prison.”

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