CBS/AP) A Peruvian judge on Friday denied a defense motion to void the confession of Joran van der Sloot in the slaying of Stephany Flores.
The motion claimed the confession should be dismissed because the attorney representing van der Sloot at the time was state-appointed.
Superior Court Judge Wilder Casique rejected the habeas corpus move made on behalf of Van der Sloot, who is jailed pending trial on charges of first-degree murder and robbery in the May 30 death in his Lima hotel room of 21-year-old Peruvian business student Stephany Flores. He met her while playing poker in a casino.
Van der Sloot, 22, also remains the sole suspect in the unresolved 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba. He's never been charged in that crime.
Flores' brother hailed the decision in an interview with CBS News, and said his family has been in touch with Holloway's.
Peruvian police say their search of van der Sloot's computer discovered e-mails relating to the Holloway case. In his confession, van der Sloot said he killed Flores after she read one of those e-mails.
Casique noted in a statement that Van der Sloot had, in addition to the lawyer, been afforded a Dutch-Spanish interpreter vetted by the Dutch Embassy.
Van der Sloot recanted the confession in a jailhouse interview with the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, claiming it was made under duress.
The defendant's lawyer, Maximo Altez, told The Associated Press he would appeal Casique's decision to a higher court.
A criminal law expert, Jose Balcazar, told the AP that Van der Sloot can continue the appeal but "that will not hold up the case against him."
2 days ago