Van der Sloot seeks own lawyer in case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Joran van der Sloot will spend all week at criminal police headquarters being questioned in the death of a 21-year-old Lima woman and has asked to be able to hire his own lawyer, authorities said Sunday.

The Dutchman, who is also the prime suspect in U.S. teen Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance in Aruba, is being held in a seventh-floor cell with a bunk bed and blanket and gets three hot meals a day, said Maj. Jose Gamboa, spokesman for the Peruvian national police.

Van der Sloot is suspected in the May 30 killing — five years to the day after Holloway’s disappearance — of Stephany Flores, a business student who police say he met playing poker at a casino.

Police released video Saturday taken by security cameras at the hotel where van der Sloot had been staying since arriving from Colombia on May 14. It shows the two entering van der Sloot’s room together and the Dutchman leaving alone four hours later.

The woman’s battered body was found on the room’s floor more than two days later, her neck broken.

“The only possessions of my daughter they found were her empty wallet and her cell phone,” her father, circus empresario Ricardo Flores, said in TV interview Sunday night. “There wasn’t a peso in her wallet.”

Van der Sloot crossed into Chile on Monday, where he was arrested three days later..