Reports: Joran van der Sloot, suspect in Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, injured in prison fight, lawyer says
(Gray News) – Joran van der Sloot, the suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, was injured in a fight in a Peruvian prison over the weekend, his lawyer told news outlets Tuesday.
The lawyer, Maximo Altez, said van der Sloot was placed in the prison’s medical section after suffering a cut to his fingers and some bruising during a fight inside his prison ward Saturday, CNN reports.
Altez reportedly told CNN en Español that “it wasn’t a direct assault against him,” and that van der Sloot injured his hand during “a fight among some inmates,” which he got involved with “to defend his friend, who was injured on the leg.”
NBC News reports Altez said Tuesday that van der Sloot was hurt in a fight between rival gangs, and his injuries were “nothing too serious.”
Altez had told ABC News on Monday that his client had been “severely beaten” in the prison.
The prisoner is awaiting extradition to the U.S. to face trial on extortion and wire fraud charges.
Altez had earlier said he didn’t believe the attack was related to the upcoming extradition.
The federal charges filed in Alabama against van der Sloot are from an accusation that he tried to extort the Holloway family in 2010, promising to lead them to her body in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He is serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of a Peruvian woman, 21-year-old Stephany Flores.
Holloway went missing during a senior class trip to Aruba in 2005. She was 18.
Her body has never been found, and van der Sloot was never charged though he and two other men are believed to be the last people to see Holloway alive.
In 2012, an Alabama judge declared Holloway legally dead.
Copyright 2023 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press and CNN Newsource contributed to this report.