Joran van der Sloot is escorted by police officers outside a Peruvian police station, June 4, 2010. (AP/File)
The process of extraditing Joran van der Sloot from Peru to the United States to face an extortion charge is underway.
Van der Sloot, who is Dutch and was convicted of the 2010 murder of Peruvian Stephany Flores and is a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American Natalee Holloway, is facing charges of extortion in the Holloway case. A federal grand jury indicted van der Sloot in 2010, alleging he tried to extort $250,000 from Holloway's mother. Van der Sloot "offered to provide what turned out to be bogus information about the whereabouts of Holloway's remains in exchange for the money," according to the indictment. He was given $25,000, which he used to travel to Peru to compete in a poker tournament, where he met Flores.
According to CNN, a Peruvian judge approved a U.S. request for "provisional detention," which is the "first step in the extradition process between Peru and the United States." A formal extradition request is expected, as is an appeal by van der Sloot, which could delay the extradition.
The 24-year-old is currently serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of Flores. In that case, prosecutors said van der Sloot strangled and then suffocated Flores after she found something on his computer related to Holloway, who disappeared while on vacation in Aruba in 2005. Van der Sloot fled to Chile, where he was arrested.
"I think he will be extradited within the next three months," Maximo Altez, van der Sloot's Peruvian attorney, told CNN. "He will go to trial in the United States. Once he is sentenced, he will return to Peru to finish serving his 28 years, and then go back to the States to serve whatever sentence he gets there."
Van der Sloot admitted to the Flores killing, which occurred on the five-year anniversary of Holloway's disappearance.
In January, an Alabama judge signed an order declaring Holloway legally dead, more than six years after the teenager vanished.
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