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Joran Van Der Sloot's U.S. Extradition Set for 2038

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Joran van der Sloot is set to be extradited to the United States to stand trial for a crime he allegedly commited in the wake of Natalee Holloway's disappearance. But his extradition won't happen until 2038.

Van der Sloot, the main suspect in Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in 2005, will first have to complete his 28-year prison sentence in Peru for killing a 21-year-old woman there in 2010, The Associated Press reports.

What's waiting for van der Sloot in 24 years?

Extradition for Alleged Extortion, Fraud

Van der Sloot was indicted in federal court in Alabama on allegations that he "extorted and defrauded" the mother of Natalee Holloway -- an 18-year-old Alabama girl who went missing in Aruba and whose body has never been found.

Extortion, also more commonly known as blackmail, occurs when a defendant extracts money or property from a victim by threat of violence, property damage, harm to reputation, or unfavorable government action. But in van der Sloot's case, he allegedly accepted $25,000 in cash from the Holloways, promising to lead them to their daughter's body -- just before he was arrested for murder in Peru.

The Peruvian courts initially approved van der Sloot's extradition to the United States in order to face prosecution for these charges, but Peru's highest court determined that he must serve his sentence for murder first. Van der Sloot confessed to murdering Stephany Flores, 21, a Peruvian student, and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Van der Sloot has been in custody since 2010 for Flores' murder, so with credit for time served, his 28-year sentence should be completed by 2038.

Why Not Extradite Now?

Extradition works based on the diplomatic and treaty relations between two nations. There are several countries which have traditionally refused to extradite criminals to the United States, but many of them generally aren't friendly with the United States.

Peru isn't one of those countries, and actually has an extradition treaty with the United States. The AP reported in 2012 that Peru's Supreme Court wanted van der Sloot to serve out his sentence before facing justice in the States.

Without further diplomatic pressure from U.S. officials, it appears that Joran van der Sloot won't be on trial for allegedly extorting the Holloways for another two decades.

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