Dutch youth admits role in death of Natalee Holloway

Other News Materials 2 February 2008 00:34 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Dutch youngster Joran van der Sloot has allegedly admitted involvement in the death of American girl Natalee Holloway, Dutch public television reported Friday citing a video confession that had been filmed secretly by a friend.

Alabama-born Natalee Ann Holloway, 18, disappeared on May 30, 2005 during a high school graduation trip in Aruba. Van der Sloot , now 21, was arrested twice for involvement in her death together with two friends, but the three were released each time due to lack of evidence.

But on Friday Dutch media reported that Van der Sloot gave details of Holloway's death to an Aruban youngster who befriended him in the Netherlands.

The Aruban youth subsequently filmed him with a hidden camera on several occasions, during which Van der Sloot allegedly told him what happened with Holloway in 2005.

According to the reports, Van der Sloot had sexual intercourse with Holloway just before she disappeared. She allegedly passed out during the sexual act, following which Van der Sloot panicked and called a friend.

The friend took her body on a boat and then dropped it in the ocean. It remains unclear whether Holloway was dead at the time or just unconscious.

Van der Sloot had been arrested twice on suspicion of involvement in Holloway's disappearance, along with two other friends suspected of pulling the body onto the boat.

Aruban police had released him in December and closed the file, but the Aruban public prosecutor formally re-opened the case Friday.

Holloway's disappearance generated a media sensation in the United States and Aruba and sparked considerable interest in the Netherlands.

On Thursday, Dutch crime journalist Peter R de Vries announced he had "solved" the case, but said the Dutch public had to wait until the broadcast of his weekly television programme Sunday night.

Various media have since reported part of the story, giving details of Van der Sloot's alleged account on video.

Van der Sloot has not yet been arrested, nor was the young Aruban man who allegedly took the body on the boat and dropped it in the ocean.

Even if the new evidence can be used in court, it remains unclear what Van der Sloot would be prosecuted for.

According to Dutch law, Van der Sloot can only be tried for murder or complicity in murder if the public prosecution can prove the girl was still alive before she was taken in the boat.

Without a body and without other witnesses, this will be difficult to prove. In that case, Van der Sloot can only be prosecuted for involvement in the disappearance of a body, a crime that allows for a maximum of a six month jail term.