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FBI Defends Itself in Murder Linked to Joran van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Wednesday defended itself against accusations that it screwed up in the case involving Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the death of a woman in Peru. He has also long been a suspect in the death of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama high school teen who disappeared in Aruba five years ago after being last seen with van der Sloot.

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alabama said in a statement that agents and prosecutors “were working as hard as possible to bring the case to fruition when they learned of the murder.”  Some criticized the FBI, saying it could have arrested van der Sloot before he went to Peru and allegedly murdered a 21-year-old woman.

On June 3, a few days after the murder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged van der Sloot with wire fraud.  Several weeks before, Van der Sloot had contacted someone close to the Holloway family and asked for $250,000 in exchange for disclosing circumstances surrounding the death of  Natalee Holloway, the FBI said.

Press reports said the FBI set up a sting and an intermediary met on May 10 with van der Sloot in an Aruba hotel and gave him $10,000, according to AOL News. An additional $15,000 was wired to van der Sloot. Some critics say he should have been arrested right there on the spot after taking the money.

Instead, Van der Sloot reportedly used the money to go to Peru and play in a poker tournament, where he met Stephany Flores, 21, a business student.

A hotel video shows the two going into van der Sloot’s room. Later, he emerged without Flores, who was found dead in the room. Authorities said she died May 30.

In a joint statement issued by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alabama said:

“Some news accounts have suggested that the FBI provided $25,000.00 in funds that were transmitted to van der Sloot. This is incorrect. The funds involved were private funds.

“News accounts have also questioned why charges were not brought earlier, so that the tragic death of Stephany Flores could have been avoided.

“We offer our heartfelt sympathy to the Flores family. The Birmingham investigation was not related in any way to the murder in Peru.

“Despite having been in motion for several weeks at the time of Miss Flores’ death, it was not sufficiently developed to bring charges prior to the time van der Sloot left Aruba.

“This is not due to any fault on the part of the FBI or the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where agents and prosecutors were working as hard as possible to bring the case to fruition when they learned of the murder.

“A case based on events outside of the United States is a complex matter, and work was proceeding with all deliberate speed to prepare the evidence, the charges, and the necessary procedures to obtain custody of van der Sloot.”

To read more go to AOL News


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