Joran van der Sloot’s lawyer, Máximo Altez, has decided he will continue to defend his client. Earlier he announced he was quitting because of “numerous family problems”, but Radio Netherlands Worldwide has learned that he has now decided to go ahead regardless. He has, however, moved to a secret location since the windows of his office were smashed.
A prominent Peruvian lawyer has informed RNW that Joran’s mother wants the trial moved to the Netherlands. He says this is theoretically possible in legal terms, but only if the Peruvian authorities agree and that seems unlikely.
The lawyer, who wished to remain anonymous, is concerned that Joran van der Sloot will not receive a fair trial since the intensive media coverage in Peru has generated mass hysteria and irreversibly painted a portrait of the Dutchman as a cold, heartless killer. He says what he needs is not so much a lawyer as a medical team made up of psychiatrists and psychologists.
The Dutch embassy in Lima is also worried about the situation and the treatment of the accused.
Last month Joran van der Sloot confessed to murdering 21-year Stephany Flores in his hotel room in Lima. Mr Altez claims the statement was extracted in an illegal manner.
The victim’s family is calling for a life sentence and assuming the motive for the murder was robbery. The charge at present is “premeditated murder”, which in Peru carries a maxium sentence of 35 years. Joran van der Sloot claims he killed Stephany Flores in a fit of rage.