'With No Body, There's No Case'

As Paul van der Sloot explains it, the judge-in-training and father of one of three suspects still being held in the disappearance in Aruba of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, landed in jail himself because he was misunderstood.

CBS News Correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports that he , "I allegedly said that I had picked up Joran (his son, who is still in custody) at four in the morning. And someone else said that I supposedly picked up Joran and Natalee at four in the morning.

"But my story to the police was that I had picked up only Joran at 11 o'clock at McDonald's. It's, of course, very strange that the public prosecutor includes two witness statements of people who were in the back of the crowd that night, and not the testimony of the female police officer, to whom I was talking."

Van der Sloot was heard through an interpreter. He was released earlier this week.

Aruba is a Dutch protectorate.

In the crowd that he mentioned were Holloway's mother and family friends, Cobiella points out. It was the night after Holloway disappeared, and her mother already suspected Joran van der Sloot, 17.

Days later, when it looked as though Joran and his two friends would be arrested, the elder van der Sloot offered legal advice.

"I explained to them the procedures ... so that they would not panic," he said to Dutch TV Nova. "That was sufficient for the prosecutor to suspect that I was an accomplice."

But lead prosecutor Caren Janssen says her investigators have proof the father-son talk went a lot further.

Also heard through an interpreter, she told Dutch TV Nova, "The father talked to the boys and told them that without a body, there wouldn't be a case. And that is something that, possibly, we can't rule it out, has played an important role in the way the boys told their stories."

Those stories, Cobiella notes, have brought investigators no closer to knowing whether Holloway is alive, or whether a crime has been committed. And the one person who is certain to know the truth, Holloway herself, is no closer to being found.
  • Scott Benjamin

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