BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Joran van der Sloot’s stay in the United States is drawing to a close as a hearing finally approaches.
Van der Sloot is scheduled to have a plea and sentencing hearing tomorrow on federal charges of extortion and wire fraud.
Former federal prosecutor Alex Soto said the proceeding has likely been worked out well in advance.
“Typically, federal court is pretty predictable,” Soto said. “He’s going to go in, be advised of the nature of the charges, the statutory maximum; He’s going to be advised if there’s a mandatory minimum, the rights he’s giving up. And the court is going to want to hear, depending on the way that the court handles the process, the facts that he is admitting, the facts that meet every element of the charges he is charged with.”
The intense attention van der Sloot has received is tied to his suspected involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway back in 2005 while she was on a senior trip in Aruba.
Van der Sloot’s arrival in the US back in June was a triumph for Natalee Holloway’s mother Beth.
“It has been a very long and painful journey,” she said in a statement at the time. “But the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee.”
Soto said he expects the details of van der Sloot’s admission to have already been confirmed and verified by the prosecution.
”If it’s part of the plea agreement, (that) would have been provided in advance of tomorrow’s hearing,” Soto said. “And that … would normally have been provided during a debrief between the government and the defendant, obviously with council in place. The veracity of those statements would have to be confirmed before a deal is consummated, finished.”
Currently, van der Sloot is being held in the Shelby County Jail. He is scheduled in court Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
Soto said he does not expect tomorrow’s hearing to last long, likely less than an hour.
During the proceedings, Beth will be speaking and revealing further details on what van der Sloot admitted to, in order to gain the plea agreement.