Lima, Peru Angry onlookers shouted “Disgrace!” and “Murderer” at Joran van der Sloot on Friday after a judge ordered him jailed on first-degree murder and robbery charges in the violent killing of a 21-year-old Lima woman.
Prosecutors said the Dutchman, who was taken to a segregated block of an eastern Lima prison, acted with “ferocity and great cruelty” in killing business student Stephany Flores in his hotel room after they met playing poker.
Van der Sloot remains the lone suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean resort island of Aruba, and Peru’s criminal police chief says the defendant told interrogators he knows where her body is.
Aruba’s attorney general, Taco Stein, told The Associated Press on Friday he is skeptical Van der Sloot was telling the truth about Holloway’s body. He said Aruban officials will decide whether to send investigators to Peru to question him once they learn exactly what he is offering.
Lima Superior Court Judge Juan Buendia issued a detention order before dawn for Van der Sloot on the murder charge. He was first taken with other prisoners in an armored truck to Lima’s judicial palace, then alone to the maximum-security Castro Castro prison.
Police manhandled Van der Sloot as they ushered him to the judicial palace, a scarf around his neck and his hands cuffed behind him.
The more virulent catcalls and bile — the sensational case has dominated Peru’s news for a week — came from onlookers as he was taken from the prosecutor’s office where he had been held since Thursday. One onlooker threw spoiled lettuce.
Police say Van der Sloot brutally murdered Flores three days after meeting her at a casino. He broke her nose, strangled her, threw her to the floor then emptied her wallet and drove away in her SUV, said Gen. Cesar Guardia, chief of the criminal police.
If convicted on the murder and robbery charges, Van der Sloot would be sentenced to between 15 and 35 years in prison, court spokesman Luis Gallardo told the AP.
It was not yet known when the trial might begin. A judge must first be assigned to hear the case.
The police chief told the AP on Thursday night that when Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores investigators asked him about the Holloway case.
“He let slip that he knew the place where this person was buried,” Guardia said.
The general said the Dutchman told investigators “he would only testify (on the matter) before Aruba authorities.”
He said he didn’t know how seriously to take Van der Sloot’s comment given his history of dubious statements about the Alabama teen’s disappearance.
Guardia said Van der Sloot confessed he killed Flores, the daughter of a circus promoter and former race car driver, because she found out about the Aruba case by using his laptop without his permission.
Van der Sloot’s newly hired Peruvian attorney, Maximo Altez, has asked the judge to declare his client’s Monday confession void on the grounds it was made in the presence of a defense lawyer appointed by police.