BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Joran van der Sloot is on track to fly in to Birmingham sometime Thursday.
Van der Sloot is being extradited to the U.S. from Peru to face fraud and extortion charges. If he arrives in Birmingham as expected on Thursday, he will likely have an initial court appearance as early as Friday.
In that initial court appearance, van der Sloot will face federal extortion and fraud charges related to allegedly extorting money in 2010 from Natalee Holloway’s mother by offering false information about her daughter’s disappearance.
Former federal prosecutor John Byrne said what van der Sloot faces next is well-scripted.
”Once the plane touches down in Birmingham, the first thing that’s going to happen is that he’s going to go to a federal detention facility, a jail. And then what will happen then is, he will have to have his initial appearance. If he lands on Thursday, his initial appearance is almost certainly going to be on Friday. A judge is going to tell him what he’s been charged with, he’s going to tell him he’s got the right to remain silent, and not make any statements. And most critically, he’s going to tell him he has the right to ask for pretrial release. What does that mean? He’s going to ask for the right, while this trial is pending to be out of custody, walking the streets of Alabama until a verdict is returned. That’s a right that he has to ask for that. Is he going to get that? Highly unlikely.”
Van der Sloot’s appearance in Birmingham will bring the primary suspect in Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance while vacationing in Aruba, to her hometown of Birmingham.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Beth Holloway took note of the painful 18 years her daughter has been gone.
“I was blessed to have had Natalee in my life for 18 years, and as of last month, I have been without her for exactly 18 years. She would be 36 years old now. It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is paying off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee.”