ORANJESTAD, Aruba — A judge heard arguments Wednesday on whether to prolong the detention of a Dutch suspect in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway.
Defense attorney Antonio Carlo said he urged the judge to release Joran van der Sloot, arguing prosecutors have produced no evidence that his client was involved in Holloway’s disappearance or that a crime had been committed.
Carlo said van der Sloot, 18, cried during the closed hearing but answered all of the judge’s questions.
“He maintains his innocence,” Carlo said. “He wants to go home.”
Van der Sloot was arrested June 9 along with two friends, Surinamese nationals Satish Kalpoe, 18, and Deepak Kalpoe, 21, on suspicion of involvement in Holloway’s disappearance. The Kalpoe brothers were released July 4 and re-arrested last week.
Prosecutors said Tuesday they filed a motion to keep the Dutch teen detained for another 30 days. The judge has until Saturday to rule.
Suspects can be held for 116 days without charge in the Dutch Caribbean island. However, if the judge orders van der Sloot held for another 30 days, prosecutors have until the end of that period to charge him or he must be released.
Carlo said prosecutors introduced two allegations of a “sexual nature” against van der Sloot. He declined to provide details but insisted they were not new. “We don’t consider them new circumstances,” he said. Prosecutors could not be reached for comment.
Kalpoe brothers questioned
The Kalpoe brothers were also questioned during van der Sloot’s hearing, Carlo said.
The two were arrested Friday, when a judge ruled that prosecutors had enough evidence to hold them for at least eight days while they build their case.
Van der Sloot’s parents tried to attend the hearing but were barred from entering because their son is an adult, Carlo said.
Eighteen-year-old Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was last seen May 30 leaving a bar with the Kalpoes and van der Sloot, hours before she was to end a vacation celebrating her graduation.
No one has been charged, and extensive searches have produced no sign of her.
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