The first public hearing in the trial of Dutchman Joran van der Sloot is being held in the Peruvian capital Lima. He is accused of killing Peruvian student Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room on 30 May 2010.
The Public Prosecutor's Office announced at the end of August that Van der Sloot would be charged with murder and robbery and it would be seeking a 30-year jail sentence and damages of 50,000 euros.
His defence lawyer has argued that his client killed Stephany Flores "out of violent emotion" and that the appropriate charge should therefore be manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of 6-20 years.
Joran van der Sloot was arrested on 3 June 2010 in Chile near the coastal resort of Viña del Mar. He was handed over to the Peruvian authorities two days later and has been in custody in Lima's Castro Castro prison since 11 June 2010.
The three taxi drivers who drove Van der Sloot to the Chilean border will also be indicted on charges of obstructing justice. They face a five-year prison sentence and a fine of 1,250 euros.
Joran van der Sloot is still the main suspect in the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba in May 2005. He has never been charged due to lack of evidence.
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