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Proceedings underway for Joran Van Der Sloot trial

September 16, 2011

By Stella Toonen

AMSTERDAM – Preparations for the criminal proceedings against Joran Van Der Sloot, accused of murdering Stephany Flores (21) in a hotel room in May 2010, started in the Peruvian capital, Lima Monday.

The Peruvian Court of Justice has yet to announce full details of the trail proceedings.

The defense teams for both Van der Sloot and Flores attended the meeting.

Edward Alvarez, lawyer of the Flores family, said the indictment involves both murder and robbery charges, which could lead to life imprisonment  sentence.

Máximo Altez, the defense attorney for 24-year-old Dutchman Van der Sloot, claims that the murder occurred under emotional circumstances.

Should the judge agree, such a scenario could significantly lower the punishment to between 6 and 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors have requested a thirty-year imprisonment sentence for Van Der Sloot.

Flores’ family believes this is too lenient.

Alvarez is pleased that the case will start soon.

In the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, he complained that Ministry of Justice officials had been slow in dealing with handling the case

According to Peruvian law, suspects can only be kept in jail without a verdict for one and a half years.

That would mean Van Der Sloot will have to be released in December this year, unless he gets convicted.

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