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Third suspect held longer in Holloway inquiry

A judge ruled enough evidence exists to detain Joran van der Sloot, a suspect in the disappearance of Natalie Holloway, for an initial eight-day period as prosecutors investigate.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A judge ruled there is enough evidence to detain Joran van der Sloot, a suspect in the disappearance of American teen Natalie Holloway, for an initial eight-day period while authorities pursue the investigation. A judge had earlier made such a ruling for brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe.

Lawyers for Satish Kalpoe accused prosecutors Monday of rehashing old evidence and predicted all three suspects will be released again.

Attorneys Ronald Wix and David Kock told reporters that prosecutors gave them an 11½-page summary of the evidence, and said it mostly contained segments of interrogations that had not been transcribed previously and recordings of conversations from cell phones and discussions inside the home of their client.

They disputed prosecution claims that the evidence — submitted to a judge to justify detaining their client and the two others — is significant or new.

“They will be acquitted. They will be freed,” Wix said.

Prosecutors have said they cannot comment on the evidence. The defense lawyers would not discuss it in detail at their news conference, but were dismissive of prosecutors’ latest efforts to resolve the case.

“It seems like they shook the file, threw it on the table and qualified some things as new evidence,” Kock told reporters at his office in Oranjestad. “This is unacceptable.”

Wix said “90 to 95 percent” of the material in the summary file was not new.

“The legal basis for this detention is seriously questionable,” Wix said. “You could almost say illegal.”

The Kalpoe brothers — Satish is 21, Deepak, 24 — were re-arrested Wednesday along with Joran van der Sloot, 20, on suspicion of involvement in the death of Holloway, who was last seen leaving a bar with them on May 30, 2005, hours before she was scheduled to return home with fellow high school classmates celebrating their graduation.

Despite extensive searches, no trace has been found of Holloway, from Mountain Brook, Ala.

Prosecutors say they have evidence that Holloway, who was 18 when she disappeared, is dead.

All three suspects have denied any involvement in Holloway’s disappearance and were previously released for lack of evidence.