ORANJESTAD, Aruba — A judge on Thursday ordered the release of a Dutch teenager who has been jailed for nearly three months in the disappearance of an Alabama honors student and said he would be freed this weekend, the youth’s father and attorney said.
Paul van der Sloot said the judge ruled there was no reason to hold his son, Joran, any longer on suspicion of murder but the youth remained a suspect in the sexual assault of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway.
Reached by phone later, defense attorney Antonio Carlo disputed part of the father’s statement, saying van der Sloot, 18, remains a suspect in Holloway’s murder but will be released Saturday pending the outcome of the investigation.
The decision to release van der Sloot “only has to do with the pretrial detention. The primary condition is he has to remain available to police,” Carlo said.
The judge in the case issued two rulings: In the first, he agreed with prosecutors' request to extend the period of van der Sloot's pretrial detention by 30 more days.
But later Thursday, the judge issued another ruling that sided with the defense — an order to immediately suspend the execution of his earlier pretrial detention order.
No comment from prosecutors
In a statement, the prosecutors office declined to comment on the ruling, saying it hasn’t received all of the decisions from the judge.
Joran 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 on July 4 but were re-arrested last week.
A judge ordered Satish Kalpoe to remain jailed eight more days, government spokesman Ruben Trapenberg said, without giving further details.
The judge was still to rule on whether to continue holding or release Deepak Kalpoe. Suspects can be held for 116 days without charge in the Dutch Caribbean island.
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.
The announcement came a day after a hearing in which Carlo argued that prosecutors have produced no evidence that his client was involved in Holloway’s disappearance or that a crime had been committed.
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