Peru extradites Dutch murderer in case of missing Alabama teen

Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot, who was serving a 28-year sentence in Peru after confessing to killing a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, is escorted to the airport to be extradited to the U.S., to face charges of extortion and wire fraud against the family of Natalee Holloway, in a case linked to his alleged involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005, in Lima, Peru June 8, 2023. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian police on Thursday began the process of transferring a convicted Dutch murderer to the United States, where he faces extortion and fraud charges related to the disappearance of an Alabama teenager presumed killed nearly two decades ago.

Joran Van der Sloot, a Dutch national from the Caribbean island of Aruba, was escorted from a Lima prison to a Peruvian Air Force base where he was handed over to agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), local television showed.

Van der Sloot is expected to face charges in the United States related to the mysterious disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old from suburban Birmingham who vanished during a high school graduation trip to Aruba in May 2005.

The Dutchman had previously been arrested in the United States for her disappearance, but was not charged. Holloway's remains have never been found though an Alabama judge declared her legally deceased in 2012, without settling the case. The young student was last seen in Aruba with Van der Sloot and another man.

Her disappearance prompted an exhaustive investigation and intense media attention.

Van der Sloot, 35, is accused of extortion and fraud for offering Holloway's family false information about the whereabouts of the teenager, according to U.S. authorities.

The extradition was approved in May by Peru's Council of Ministers. Van der Sloot has been serving a 28-year jail sentence in Peru after he confessed to beating, strangling and suffocating a 21-year-old Peruvian business student in 2010.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Lucinda Elliott; Editing by Peter Graff)

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