updated 6/30/2005 8:22:23 AM ET 2005-06-30T12:22:23

Guest: Bob Schlowsky, Arlene Ellis-Schipper, Mark Duncan, Joseph Sax, Jossy Mansur 

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, breaking news out of Aruba.  Police arrest the father of a lead suspect in the case of missing teen, Natalee Holloway.  We'll hear from his wife and a family friend. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS (voice-over):  Just hours ago, authorities arrested Paulus Van Der Sloot, an Aruban judicial official whose son is a suspect in Natalee's disappearance.  Police interrogated him for hours over the weekend and have impounded two family cars.  We've got exclusive reaction to the arrest. 

And a Mississippi judge gives 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen the maximum sentence for the murders of three civil rights workers killed more than 40 years ago. 

Plus, the U.S. Supreme Court rules it is OK for the government to take property, bulldoze a home, whatever, even to build something like a shopping mall as long as they have a plan and they pay.  Does that mean any home could now be taken by the government? 

The program about justice starts now. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  Breaking news in the Natalee Holloway case, the American teen missing in Aruba for more than three weeks.  Aruban police have arrested the father of a key suspect.  Paul Van Der Sloot was taken into custody a few hours ago.  A spokesman for Aruba's attorney general says he is a—quote—“suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.”

Now Van Der Sloot is a justice official on the island.  His son, Joran, is already under arrest and in one of the Aruban prisons.  It's believed Joran was one of the last people to see Natalee when she disappeared the night of May the 30th

Now, Anita Van Der Sloot, Joran's mother and Paul's husband, scheduled to appear on this program tonight.  But after these latest developments in the case, she canceled.  She offered up this statement. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANITA VAN DER SLOOT, JORAN VAN DER SLOOT'S MOTHER:  They took my husband, and I thought well maybe this is just for some questions.  But then (UNINTELLIGIBLE) came back and he told me that they took my husband into custody because of—I don't know how to explain that in English...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Material witness? 

SLOOT:  Yes, yes...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  As a witness?

SLOOT:  ... as a witness or as a suspect.  He said as a suspect. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He used the word...

SLOOT:  ... the word suspect, yes.  And he wanted to tell me himself.  I said well, I thank you very much, but now this is something that is so bizarre, so bizarre that my husband, who is a man full of integrity, who worked for 15 years in the judicial department, that he got taken like this without any evidence, without any - without anything—that I was just curious.  I'm very emotional right now. 

And it's - the nightmare is even getting worse.  This is not about Natalee anymore.  This is about an enormous pressure from the states, media pressure.  This is political, economical.  It is just they don't know what to do and they need their victims.  So it's really unbelievable what is going on and it is really not about Natalee anymore. 

And this is not (UNINTELLIGIBLE).  I know that I love and that I have in my heart, because there is something very, very wrong.  I'm sorry.  He continues to—today again mom, my thoughts are with the family.  My thoughts are with Natalee.  I know she's alive.  She is somewhere.  She is alive.  And I should have brought her to a responsible adult—that I blame myself and I will blame my whole life. 

But the truth will come out, and I will be out of here soon.  That is what he keeps repeating and repeating.  And when I look at this boy, I only can say he is telling the truth.  And with now that my husband gets involved, I don't know where the pressure comes from.  I don't know what is going on, but this is the most ridiculous case. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Now other networks and media entities seem stunned to hear late this afternoon that Anita confirmed that Joran changed his story about what happened that night.  She says her son admits he was alone on the beach with Natalee the night she disappeared but insists he left her there and did not hurt her.  Remember, he'd initially said that he dropped her off at a hotel, but we knew that because this morning on MSNBC she addressed that very issue conceding that her son's story had not been consistent. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SLOOT:  I think that if you are a 17-year-old boy under enormous pressure, you know, a 17-year-old is a 17-year-old and maybe he's not lying, but it's just like trying to cover up a little bit because you shouldn't be at 2:00 in the morning on a Monday morning on the streets, because that was not something that belonged to our house rules. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Martin Savidge is live in Aruba.  All right, so Martin, we've now got dad under arrest, at least for now, right?  I mean there is going to be a re-evaluation I guess in the next couple of hours.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  That is right, Dan.  Actually, he can be held for six hours for the initial phase of questioning here and then after that point there is going to have to be some decision made by a legal official.  It's probably going to be the prosecutor, perhaps, or a even senior police officer who can say we need to know more or we want to hold him longer.  That gives them 48 hours and then at that point there's probably going to have to be a time where they appear before a judge and a judge has to look at the evidence and then we start falling into this eight-day cycle, which is the cycle we have seen repeated a number of times with the previous suspects, including of course, Paul's son, Joran Van Der Sloot. 

ABRAMS:  You know, Martin, it seems to me that one of two things happened here.  Either those cars that they towed away from the home, they tested and they got some sort of test results back or that—or something in the house, for example—or that something that Paul Van Der Sloot said, for example, last night in the media interview or some other time has made them say wait a second, that is not the same thing he said to us in the interrogation. 

SAVIDGE:  There is also a third possibility out there, which some people will talk about and the prosecutor's office does not, and that is that perhaps this is another way to try to apply pressure to the person who you really think is not telling the truth here, and that would be his 17-year-old son.  It would be interesting to know if his son already knows that now his father has been taken into custody. 

Perhaps the feeling of authorities is that if this young man is holding back information, if he sees this nightmare snowballing affecting his entire family that he may come forward and tells what he knows.  Now, you're right.  It could also be the fact that the father underwent very intense questioning voluntarily over the weekend and maybe there is something that didn't match up. 

ABRAMS:  It's an important point and you're absolutely right, that is something else we have talked about is the possibility that they are just putting the clamps down, trying to tighten the screws somehow to get more information.  Martin, we're going to check in with you later.  Maybe we will have found out by then if they are going to release him or continue to try to question him. 

All right, you can imagine that for the Van Der Sloot family, you know, her son now a key suspect in Natalee's disappearance, you've got her husband who is now also under arrest.  Joining me now is someone who has been at Anita's side since her husband's arrest.  Bob Schlowsky has just left the Van Der Sloot home to appear on this program.  He is a close family friend.  Thank you very much for taking the time.  I know that this has been a very emotional time over at the home and for you to leave I understand was, you know, quite significant, so thank you very much for taking the time to do that. 

Let me ask you...

BOB SCHLOWSKY, VAN DER SLOOT FAMILY FRIEND:  You're welcome. 

ABRAMS:  Let me ask you about what is going on here.  How much information have you, has Anita received about exactly why her husband was arrested? 

(AUDIO GAP)

ABRAMS:  Bob, can you hear me?  Mr. Schlowsky—Bob, can you hear me? 

OK, I guess he can't hear me.  All right, we're going to try and fix that.  We're going to do more on today's arrest of the father—oh can you hear me, Mr. Schlowsky? 

Oh, all right, coming up, more of this.  Take a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

ABRAMS:  All right, we're back talking about this development in the case of missing Alabama teen, Natalee Holloway.  The fact that the father of a key suspect in this case, Joran Van Der Sloot, has been arrested this afternoon.  Bob Schlowsky has just left the Van Der Sloot home to appear on this program.  He is a close family friend. 

We apologize for the technical difficulties we were having a moment ago, Bob.  So the question that I was asking you before the break is do you know exactly why Paul Van Der Sloot was arrested?  Does his wife know what he is accused of? 

SCHLOWSKY:  No.  No one knows.  My speculation is—and this is my speculation—that an awful lot of this has to do with an inordinate amount of media circus on this island and the amount of pressure that it is putting on this government.  These sorts of crimes just don't happen here.  I am an American, but I have been living here for about three years and vacationing here for over 20, and what the media circus is doing to this entire island is just absurd.  And the amount of pressure and the amount of loss of civil liberties that is going on is, I think, just very wrong. 

ABRAMS:  The pressure, I think is understandable and I think that you are probably right, that there is extra pressure on them.  But the idea that they would arrest someone like Mr. Van Der Sloot, I mean he is not just a lawyer on the island, but someone soon to be a judge on the island, a prominent member of the legal community.  You've got to think that they're not just going to sort of arrest someone like that with nothing, are they? 

SCHLOWSKY:  I have no idea.  I'm not an attorney.  But I do know that their son has been questioned for about two weeks now, and there has not been an attorney present during any of his questioning.  Can you imagine if you had a child and your son was questioned for that amount of time without an attorney present?  Yes, it is a different government, but there just seems to be something here that just isn't fair. 

And I think an awful lot of it is pressure brought by some of the media outlets in the United States that just latched on to this family and are pointing the finger and declaring on air that they are guilty.  And I have no idea what the facts are in the case, but I know that people are not considering other things.  It is an absolute tragedy, but the tragedy is being compounded here because people's civil liberties are being taken away. 

ABRAMS:  Was Anita stunned when her husband was arrested today or was this something that she was fearing was going to happen? 

SCHLOWSKY:  I think she was stunned.  I think she was fearing it, and I think she was possibly fearing it to a certain extent because she also spoke out and started speaking to the press. 

ABRAMS:  So, is...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... does she feel that it was retaliation against her? 

SCHLOWSKY:  I have no idea.  All I know is she is extremely upset.  But I mean this is a very, very gentle man who has given his service to this country and it just doesn't make sense.  But again, I don't know any of the facts of this case...

ABRAMS:  Right.

SCHLOWSKY:  ... but it just doesn't seem right to me that the American media can point their finger at a family, claim them guilty with no information at all. 

ABRAMS:  Well...

SCHLOWSKY:  They also claim that the police force is inept here with no information. 

ABRAMS:  Right.  Well it's not happening on this program, but I know you are not directly accusing.  You're just saying...

SCHLOWSKY:  It is happening on many other programs... 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Well...

SCHLOWSKY:  ... for sure. 

ABRAMS:  ... that may be.  The—he is a judge in training.  Can you explain to us what that means, sort of where he is in the process, et cetera? 

SCHLOWSKY:  No. 

ABRAMS:  You don't know? 

SCHLOWSKY:  No, I don't know.  I don't know.

ABRAMS:  OK.  Bob, I know this has been a rough day for you, and I appreciate you taking the time to come on the program.  Thank you. 

SCHLOWSKY:  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  Joining me now is the managing editor of “Diario” newspaper in Aruba.  Jossy Mansur has been covering this case from the beginning.  Thanks very much. 

Oh, OK, so we're not going to Jossy, OK, go to Arlene Ellis, an attorney out there in Aruba. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

ABRAMS:  There you are.  Hi there.  Thanks for—can you hear me? 

OK, can you hear me?  Arlene Ellis, can you hear me? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don't hear. 

ABRAMS:  OK.  Let's do this.  As you can see, look this is Aruba, we are having some technical problems, this happens.  Let's go to a piece of sound from this morning.  Now this is right before Anita Van Der Sloot's husband was arrested.  You've got to wonder whether she worried it was coming, feared it was coming, et cetera.  But here is what she was saying about her son, about this case, only hours before her husband was arrested. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SLOOT:  I was shocked.  I didn't sleep that night.  I had to fly in the morning.  During the flight, I tried to read my book, but I was concerned.  This was nothing that ever would occur to my child.  I could not see any connection.  I was just worried.  But the other side, I thought everything will be fine. 

We have a very positive attitude and somehow there needs to become an end to this nightmare, so we have a strong faith.  We have beautiful friends around us who help us, who support us, who believe in Joran.  And I think the most important thing is that we believe that our child is innocent.  He keeps repeating that he is innocent.  That he knows the truth will come forward, and that he will go out free. 

That is the only thing he keeps repeating.  He supports me with my emotions.  He said mom, be strong because you have to be strong; I will be strong, too.  He could tell a little bit about the integration.  It was very hard, about 10 hours a day for 10 days.  I think there were breaks, but even those breaks weren't very nice. 

It was really, really, really hard.  I will not go into details, but he had a very tough time and he still has.  I think there has been so much pressure...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  That's from this morning.  That's the mother and now wife of two people who have been arrested in connection with Natalee's disappearance. 

All right, I'm joined now by Arlene Ellis, an attorney there on Aruba.  Thanks so much for taking the time.  We apologize about the technical problems we've been having. 

Let me ask you about the law.  OK, so they are now arresting the father, and they've got this six-hour period to interrogate him and that would mean by 8:00 Eastern Time the authorities have to make a decision as to what? 

ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY:  They have to make a decision whether there is enough probable cause to hold the person in police custody.  This is again not such a strong probable cause as they have to prove later on when the person goes in pretrial detention.  But police custody, they have to show some strong suspicion of involvement. 

ABRAMS:  Is it possible that they would arrest the father to put pressure on Joran to say look, we want some answers now, and unless we get them, your dad is going to continue to have problems? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I highly doubt that.  In our system we very carefully try to guard people's rights and it's just not common that the public prosecution office uses people like that.  I don't think that is the case. 

ABRAMS:  I don't know if you were able to hear it, but we just had a family friend of the Van Der Sloot's on the program who was basically saying that this case has led to so much public pressure on the authorities, that they are effectively breaking all of the rules.  What do you make of that? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well I disagree with that actually.  I understand his sentiments, however, the media pressure is big, and it is severe.  I don't think that the prosecution office will, because of that pressure, break rules.  I don't think that has happened.  I think they are careful, especially because the whole world is looking at them.  So I don't think that is the case. 

ABRAMS:  The—so they're going to have to make a decision by 8:00 Eastern Time tonight whether they feel they have enough evidence to move forward.  If they do, the standard is very low in terms of what they have to show, right?  I mean they basically could just have suspicions and probably a judge would let them continue interrogating and detaining someone, correct? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Yes, correct.  You have to understand that the first

·         especially the first two days are police custody.  You can have suspicion and you can hold somebody then just on the basis and for the purpose of investigation.  Later on, with the extension when the prosecutor wants to extend that police custody, she has to prove a little bit more. 

And the real assessment of the case starts after 10 days when they—she really has to prove probable cause and grounds to hold somebody in pretrial detention.  The first 10 days we actually—as lawyers we call them the 10 days of the prosecution office where they have to have suspicion, but it is for the purpose of the investigation that you can hold somebody. 

ABRAMS:  What does it mean that he is a judge in training?  That the father was a judge in training on the island?  And was he sort of powerful in the legal community, as some have been suggesting? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well powerful, what is the word?  What does a judge in training mean?  In our system a judge is not elected.  One has to study to be a judge and he was studying to be a judge.  After you have studied law, you go into a training system to study to be a judge.  That's rather extensive and that is what he was doing. 

ABRAMS:  I've got to believe there are a limited number of lawyers on the island.  Did you know him in the context of the legal community there? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Yes, I knew him, yes.  I actually was working before for the public prosecution office as an assistant to the prosecutor and I know him as such, yes. 

ABRAMS:  And what did you think of him? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I have always known Mr. Van Der Sloot as a very quiet and kind, sensible and soft-spoken man and I'm still of the opinion that he is. 

ABRAMS:  So you must have been stunned to hear that he was arrested? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  I was very stunned and very shocked.  I think that everybody on the island is very shocked because of his arrest. 

ABRAMS:  You think we're going to learn more about what is going on in the next 24 to 48 hours? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I think we will.  I surely hope so.  And I think I speak for all of us here in Aruba that we are so hoping that this case comes to a resolve. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, I know.  I'm sure this has been nothing but problems for many people there.  Arlene Ellis-Schipper, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the program.  We really appreciate it. 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  You're welcome.  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  What a case this is. 

Coming up, justice served 40 years later.  The man who masterminded the killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi back in 1964 sentenced.  He is 80 years old.  We talk to the man who prosecuted the case coming up. 

And the U.S. Supreme Court says all the government needs is a plan and some cash to take your house and turn it into a park, a highway or even a shopping mall, so does this mean any house could be next in line for a bulldozer? 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a Mississippi judge sentences an 80-year-old man for masterminding the killings of three civil rights workers in the 1960's.  First the headlines. 

(NEWS BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDGE MARCUS GORDON, LEAKE COUNTY CIRCUIT:  The three gentlemen who were killed, each life has value.  And each life is equally as valuable as the other life and I have taken that into consideration.  That there are three lives involved in this case, and the three lives should absolutely be respected and treated equally. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Marcus Gordon today right before he pronounced sentence on one-time Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen.  The three men, victims of the KKK mob killing organized for death 41 years ago.  Civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman shot and buried in a hole dug by a bulldozer.

Federal civil rights case brought against the killers in 1967.  Some were convicted.  Killen's jury hung 11-1 on his guilt, but after his conviction Tuesday for manslaughter, not murder, the 80-year-old was sure to get some jail time.  Judge Gordon made sure everyone knew in court that the decision was his. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORDON:  I'll not tolerate any person to come to me and offer that Mr.  Killen should be placed on house arrest or should receive 60 years, and I take no pleasure at all in pronouncing sentence. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  But the sentence, the harshest possible.  Twenty years in prison on each count to be served consecutively, a total of 60 years.  Effectively a life sentence for a man of 80 with parole only possible after at least 20 years behind bars.  Mark Duncan is the Neshoba County district attorney who helped prosecute Edgar Ray Killen.

Thank you very much for coming on the program.  We appreciate it.  So were you surprised that the judge gave him the maximum and he could have sentenced him to as little as three years?  I think there was some concern that there might be some leniency in sentencing.

MARK DUNCAN, NESHOBA CTY. MS DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Dan, I might have been a little bit surprised but not a lot.  I think the sentence was justified.  And so I think the judge put a lot of thought into it and did what he felt was the right thing. 

ABRAMS:  Were you worried that the defendant's appearance was going to lead to a softer sentence?  I mean there he is in a wheelchair, he's got the oxygen.  He's an old man.  He doesn't look healthy.  Were you concerned that the judge might look at him and say (UNINTELLIGIBLE) how am I going to sentence this guy to a really long sentence? 

DUNCAN:  No, I didn't really feel that way, Dan.  He—this judge is a real veteran.  He has had to do this many times over.  And he knows that age is no excuse from being serving the punishment that you should for the crime that you've done. 

ABRAMS:  So is this case over?  I mean there were a lot of people believed to have been involved in these killings.  Are there going to be any more prosecutions or is this case done? 

DUNCAN:  Well at this point we have done all it is that we can do.  We have presented all of our evidence to a grand jury who could have indicted any number of people.  They decided that only—there was only enough evidence to indict Mr. Killen, so you never want to completely close the door.  You know somebody could wake up tomorrow and decide that they want to bring us new information.  But as of right now, we have done all that we can do in this case. 

ABRAMS:  Let me play you a piece of sound from an attorney for Mr.  Killen, James McIntyre.  What he was basically saying is that he doesn't think that this case should have been brought and he thought it was bad for the state.  Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES MCINTYRE, KILLEN DEFEBSE ATTORNEY:  This is nothing but a distraction for the bees of the citizens of the state of Mississippi.  It is stirring a shimmering pot of hate and profit and cultural sluggishness.  That's all it's doing. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  What do you make of that? 

DUNCAN:  Well I think what Mr. McIntyre was doing was trying to capitalize on some—the sentiment of a few people here and trying to represent his client in that way, to get the jury to focus on something else besides the evidence...

ABRAMS:  You think sort of playing...

DUNCAN:  I don't think they felt...

ABRAMS:  ... in a way playing the race card? 

(CROSSTALK)

DUNCAN:  Well maybe in an underhanded way I suppose, but I don't think that is exactly what he was doing.  I think it was more of trying to get this jury to focus on some other issue besides the evidence and obviously they didn't go for it. 

ABRAMS:  Mark Duncan, congratulations on a long awaited verdict and a long awaited justice.  Thanks a lot for coming on the program. 

DUNCAN:  I appreciate it, Dan.  Thank you very much. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, the U.S. Supreme Court gives local governments the OK to seize homes for private projects as long as they pay.  Some people may be forced out for shopping malls? 

And breaking news in Aruba, the father of one of the lead suspects in the case has been arrested.  The clock is ticking for authorities to decide whether to try to hold him.  We've got a live update from Aruba coming up. 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you're writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, the U.S. Supreme Court rules it is OK for local governments to bulldoze a family home to make way for a shopping mall or office complex, coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

ABRAMS:  We are back.  A big ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court today, the decision means that a city can bulldoze a house or business as long as the owner is paid, and that it is part of a broader plan.  Basically, as long as they have a pretty good reason for doing it.  We are not talking about just doing this to build parks and highways. 

The case here in New London, Connecticut, nine people refused to allow their homes to be raised in an area where the city wants to build a waterfront hotel, restaurant, shops, along with marinas, 80 new homes and a U.S. Coast Guard museum.  The city says well the development is going to create jobs, increase tax revenue, help—quote—“build momentum for the revitalization of New London.”

The residents said it's a lot simpler than that.  They say we just want to stay in our homes.  One of them has lived in a house that the city wants to knock down since she was born in 1918, almost 90 years.  What is particularly interesting is that in the 5-4 decision, almost all of the more liberal judges sided with the politicians and developers while the conservatives were fighting for the individuals. 

Joining me now University of California, Berkeley law professor Joseph Sax, who agrees with today's decision.  Professor, thanks for coming on the program.  We appreciate it.

So first let me start with this—the way that the court was split on this.  Should we be surprised that you have all of the more liberal justices siding with the developers, and you have the more conservative justices siding with the little guys?  The individuals? 

JOSEPH SAX, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR:  It is a little surprising because the primary beneficiaries of the rule that the court laid down is the business community.  They are the ones who will end up paying heavily for—or would have ended up paying heavily if the case had gone the other way. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  How do you...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  How do you justify this kind of opinion?  I mean a lot of people, lay people are going to look at this and they're going to say way a second, so some mayor wants to build a new waterfront and he can just say all right, you know what, I'm going to take that home and that home and that home and that home, and I'm going to get rid of them.  Yes, we'll pay you for it, but we've got a nice plan for it and I think you'll enjoy the view, et cetera.  And these people say wait, we don't want to leave our home.  How can you take our home for the purpose of building a private—we are not talking about parks or highways or things that are absolutely necessary, but these are things that they just think are going to help the community. 

SAX:  Well, of course if you are the homeowner it is not very pleasant.  But if you look around, and you see developments like convention centers, a cruise ship terminal, a medical research center, a high tech park, all of the kinds of things that communities want in order to maintain their economy, this is what you have to do. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, but here we are talking about hotels.  We're talking about new homes.  We're talking about restaurants, right?  I mean there is something about it.  And the court's opinion basically seems to be saying is well look, we effectively evaluated this plan and this seems to be a pretty good plan here.  But you know when you are talking about building restaurants and hotels, and as a result forcing people to leave their homes, there is something uncomfortable about that, isn't there? 

SAX:  I agree it's uncomfortable, and it is a question of whether you want these large-scale economic development projects to go forward.  Because if you don't have that power of eminent domain, what you do is empower one or two people who are holdouts to exact an enormous price. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.

SAX:  Imagine if you're the last—in fact, I'll give you a famous example that few people know about, which is the World Trade Center.  Private—a private coffee shop, a deli was condemned and a suit was brought exactly like this one claiming that it was for a private purpose.  And the courts in New York said well you know if New York feels that it needs this in order to maintain its economic standing as a World Trade Center, even though it is a private...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

SAX:  ... building in terms of offices, that's what you have to do...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... I happen to agree with you.  I happen to agree with your opinion.  I know I am asking questions as if I think it's a crazy opinion, but I don't think that a couple of people should be able to hold up an entire community.  In particular let's not forget, they're getting paid.  I mean they're getting paid the going rate for their property. 

So it's not as if they're just being told to leave and that they've got nothing to do about it.  There's no question, there are going to be some unhappy people.  Let me...

SAX:  Right.

ABRAMS:  Let me read you from the --  Justice O'Connor's descent in this opinion.  This is what Justice O'Connor was saying is one of the big problems. 

Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random.  The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.

True?

SAX:  I think it's half true.  That is if it is just what the majority called a one for one they take your house in order to sell it to me, the court said it would look at that.  But let me give you another famous case.  The city of Detroit condemned large tracts of lands at the demand of General Motors who wanted to expand the Cadillac plant.  Detroit was squeezed because the city was in terrible economic trouble.  The people who lived there, it was an old...

ABRAMS:  Right.

SAX:  ... ethnic community, and those people suffered, but the city made the decision...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

SAX:  ... that this was what they had to do to maintain jobs, so it's a tough call. 

ABRAMS:  It is.

SAX:  But if the city makes that call, the question is whether you want judges sitting in Washington, D.C. to tell them they can't do it.  That is the problem. 

ABRAMS:  Professor Sax, thanks for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

SAX:  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, an update from Aruba.  The father of one of the boys suspected in Natalee Holloway's disappearance has been arrested. 

Aruban authorities will decide within about an hour whether they will keep

·         try to keep him in custody. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  We're back with more on the developing story in Aruba where American teenager Natalee Holloway has been missing for over three weeks.  Hours ago Aruban police arrested Paul Van Der Sloot, a judge on the island or at least studying to be a judge.  Police now considering him a suspect in Natalee's disappearance. 

Now his son, Joran, has been in custody for two weeks, believed to be one of the last people to have seen Natalee alive.  Paul Van Der Sloot's arrest means five people now under arrest in the case.

Joining me now managing editor of “Diario” newspaper in Aruba, Jossy Mansur, who's been covering the case from the beginning.  Thanks very much for taking the time to come on the program.  We appreciate it.

All right.  Do you have any idea what they have on Paul Van Der Sloot? 

JOSSY MANSUR, “DIARIO” NEWSPAPER MANAGING EDITOR:  I have no idea.  I mean I don't have the exact details.  But I think it's the contradiction in what he has been declaring to the police and what the police know from other sources.  I think that there is a discrepancy as to what he has confessed to the police.  And the police, I think, are aware that he knows much more about this case than he is letting on. 

ABRAMS:  And his mother—I mean—and Anita Van Der Sloot confirming today that Joran initially said yes, I dropped her off at the Holiday Inn.  She now concedes that he is telling a different story, which is that he was with her on the beach alone and that he then left her on the beach, right? 

MANSUR:  He has made that one statement.  He has made other statements, also.  And all these statements contradict each over.  I mean he has given about four to five different answers to the same questions. 

ABRAMS:  What other kinds of answer has he given? 

MANSUR:  I don't know.  We're not privy to that kind of information.  That is inside information from the police that are doing the interrogation.  We have no access to that kind of information. 

ABRAMS:  So how do you know that it was four or five different statements? 

MANSUR:  Because from our sources in the police department they tell us that this keeps on changing.  And the lawyers also let on and other media in Aruba also are aware of this. 

ABRAMS:  You think the father is going to be released at 8:00 Eastern today? 

MANSUR:  I doubt it. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, I doubt it, too.  I think they're going to head to a court to a judge, ask the judge to told him and very low standard, we talked about that earlier in the program.

Jossy Mansur, thanks very much for coming on the program.  We appreciate it. 

One of my guests yesterday said Natalee's parents might to be blame for her disappearance, I got mad.  Your e-mails are going to be next about this, but this is a startling development.  I mean we're talking about the father arrested after his son.  Remember they impounded two cars.  We're going to have more on this program about this.  We take a break...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Welcome back.  Now it's time for “Your Rebuttal”. 

Last night Aruban police detective Elio Nicolaas talked about the Natalee Holloway case and said that to him, it looks like she is a runaway teenager and maybe she—quote—“doesn't want to be found yet.”  He said the parents' background should be checked.  I was offended and asked him to return to apologize if his suggestion about the parents was shown to be wrong. 

Susan Lawlor from Long Island, New York, “Thank you for taking issue with his remarks and I look forward to the day when he does return to your show and apologizes.”

Jacki Jean from Greer, South Carolina, “A gigantic thank you for challenging in your normal graciously firm way, those ridiculous, hurtful, malicious statements made by the former Aruban policeman.  If that's an indication of the reasoning going on there, no wonder it's taken so long.”

But John Kaufman, “You owe the retired Aruban detective an apology.  You asked for his opinion, he gave it.  It may not be what you want to hear, but his background does give him more expertise on island life and tourism.”

John, what does island life and tourism have to do with whether Natalee ran away because of some secret in her parents' past? 

Don Hayward from Monument Beach, Massachusetts, “To not look at the parental dynamic is to ignore statistical reality and would be incompetent.  Your American attitude is showing.”

Oh Don, no one was saying they shouldn't investigate every angle.  This guy was throwing stuff against the wall with no evidence to back it up in an attempt I believe to blame the family as opposed to anyone on Aruba. 

Also last night we debated Congress' passing an amendment to the Constitution to prevent anyone from desecrating a flag.  I asked why are we so afraid of some Looney tunes burning a flag and wondered how you define desecration? 

Natalia Medina Coggins—from Coggins—El Paso, Texas.  “Well there goes my Fourth of July plans.  Since I was going camping, I won't buy my American flag paper plates and napkins for fear I'll be arrested for burning these flag items.”

Andy Hopkins from Los Angeles, “At the very least such an amendment can serve as a message to the Supreme Court that it's not the final word on everything and remind it that indeed the court's power can be checked.”

Mike Clinch in Dayton, Ohio makes an interesting point.  “A constitutional amendment to ban flag burning is not really a ban on an action, since the flag gets burned in both a flag retirement and an angry protest rally.  The difference between the two events is our thoughts and intentions, not our actions.”

Well said, Mike.  I still hope you're not planning on burning any flags. 

Your e-mails abramsreport—one word -- @msnbc.com.  We go through them at the end of the show. 

“OH PLEAs!”—it looks like a play on words has gotten a radio station in Lexington, Kentucky, in a sticky situation.  Twenty-eight-year-old mother of three, Norreasha Gill spent two hours listening to D.J.  Slick's program on WLTO in the hopes of winning the promised jackpot of 100 grand.

Gill called in, was the winning tenth caller.  Put her children to bed with promises of a minivan and a shopping spree.  Gill's dreams melted away when mom arrived at the radio station the next day and was handed a brown 100 Grand, Nestle chocolate candy bar, 100 Grand that is.

On Wednesday, Gill sued the radio station's parent company for breach of contract.  The station's manager had been semi sweet, offering Gill $5,000.  Gill wants the whole bar of gold, that is. 

That does it for us tonight.  Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.  Good night.  Thanks for watching.  See you tomorrow.

END

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