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Suspects in Holloway case to appear in Aruba court Friday


Written on 6:59 PM by yahoo

A court hearing in Aruba on Friday will consider whether authorities were right to re-arrest two brothers in connection with the disappearance of an Alabama teenager more than two years ago.


Natalee Holloway disappeared while on vacation in Aruba with classmates in 2005.

Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, now 24 and 21 respectively, were arrested on Wednesday in Aruba. A third suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was arrested in the Netherlands the same day.

The men apparently were the last people to see Natalee Holloway alive after she left a bar in Aruba.

Prosecutors said the three arrests came because of "new material in the investigation." No information was immediately available about what new evidence led to the arrests.

Hans Mos, Aruba's chief public prosecutor, said only that the evidence is "so important that we think we should have arrested these three guys, which we did yesterday."

Aruban police interrogated the Kalpoes on Wednesday, Aruban prosecutor Dop Kruimel said.

At Friday's preliminary arrest hearing, the judge can authorize their detention for eight more days, meaning police have that much time to produce evidence. The suspects then go before a judge again, Kruimel said.

All three men were arrested in 2005 but released because of insufficient evidence.

The Kalpoes were detained early in the investigation, and re-arrested August 26, 2005, on suspicion they acted "together with other people" in raping and killing the Alabama teen, according to the prosecutor's office at the time.

The men are now charged with "involvement in the voluntary manslaughter of Natalee Holloway or causing serious bodily harm to Natalee Holloway, resulting in her death," Aruban prosecutors said.

This week's arrests, Aruban prosecutors said, "are in line with the public prosecutor's decision to ultimately decide on the prosecution of the suspects in this case by the end of 2007. This intention was recently disclosed to both brothers."

A district court judge in the Netherlands ordered Thursday that van der Sloot be extradited to Aruba for questioning. He was to leave as soon as possible, authorities said.

A lawyer for van der Sloot said his client was bitterly surprised at the turn of events, because he felt he had left the incident behind him. The man has been attending college in the Netherlands.

Holloway was on vacation in May 2005 with about 100 classmates celebrating their graduation from Mountain Brook High School near Birmingham, Alabama.

The group had planned to leave Aruba the next day, and Holloway's packed bags and passport were found in her hotel room after she failed to show up for her flight.

Van der Sloot and the Kalpoes were the last people seen with Holloway as she left Carlos'n Charlie's nightclub in Oranjestad, Aruba, about 1:30 a.m. on May 30, 2005. The men have maintained they had nothing to do with her disappearance. She has not been found.

The Kalpoes have told police they dropped Holloway and van der Sloot off near a lighthouse at a beach on the northern tip of the island after they left the nightclub.

Van der Sloot's mother has said her son told her he was on the beach with Holloway but left her there alone because she wanted to stay.

Thursday, she told The Associated Press by telephone that investigators had recently questioned her family and the Kalpoe family.

"I think it's ridiculous after 2½ years to be doing this," she told the AP.

Aruban prosecutors said detectives from the Netherlands have been reviewing the Holloway case at the request of authorities in Aruba. The Dutch detectives were on the island as recently as last month to complete the investigation.

"Aruban police never stopped investigating this case, but we came to sort of a standstill in 2006, and we didn't see any more leads," Mos said, adding that new evidence arose after Aruban authorities asked Dutch police to help review the investigation.

Holloway's father, Dave, told the AP on Thursday that he will begin searching for her remains again in the waters off Aruba, because he believes his daughter's body was thrown into deep water that has not been adequately searched.

Holloway told the AP a private boat owner is providing divers, sonar equipment and equipment that can map the ocean floor.

Aruba's criminal justice system is based on Dutch law and the Napoleonic code, legal experts say. In Aruba, authorities can make an arrest if they have reasonable suspicion that someone knows about or is involved in a crime. Magistrates investigate cases and judges determine a suspect's guilt or innocence. There are no jury trials.


coutesy of cnn

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