Watch CBSN Live

Lawyer: Revenge Try Won't Hurt Van Der Sloot

When Joran van der Sloot was arrested in the murder of Stefany Flores in Peru in May, the FBI charged him with extortion and wire fraud for allegedly accepting money in return for information leading to the whereabouts of Natalee Holloway's body.

Now, in an interview with a Dutch newspaper, van der Sloot says he did that purely to seek revenge.

CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor reports that, in an interview with the paper De Telegraaf, van der Sloot admits to extorting $25,000 from the parents of the Alabama teen in exchange for disclosing the location of their daughter's body. When asked why, he says it was to get back at them, adding, "Her parents have been making my life tough for years. ... When they offered to pay for the girl's location, I thought 'Why not'?"

Van der Sloot a Dead Man, Ex-Con Says
Grisly van der Sloot Hotel Room Photos Surface
Inside Notorious Prisons van der Sloot Faces
Van der Sloot Confession Details Emerge
Moment Van der Sloot Met Flores Caught on Tape
Photos: Stephany Flores Murder
Photos: Van der Sloot Wanted for Murder
Photos: Natalee Holloway, Paradise Lost

But, according to CBS News Legal Analyst Jack Ford that won't necessarily hurt his defense in the Holloway case, in which he was the prime suspect in the 18-year-old's 2005 disappearance.

Ford said on "The Early Show," "I think your first instinct is, 'This must hurt him in terms of the Natalee Holloway case.' Curiously, legally, it really doesn't. At best, it's stunningly insensitive by him, at worst, it could be a whole lot of other things, but legally it's not an admission. He's not saying, 'Yes, I killed her.' He's saying, 'Well, I wanted to get back at the parents here.' So, does it create another suspicious element? Yes, but is it enough for a prosecutor to say, 'Now we got him for Natalee Holloway'? The answer is 'no." '

Holloway disappeared in May 2005, in Aruba. Four months ago, van der Sloot was allegedly ycaught in an FBI sting operation giving an agent who was osing as a family representative a location of Holloway's body that later turned out to be false. He has since been indicted on extortion and wire fraud charges.

The 23-year-old Dutchman is now awaiting trial in the slaying of Flores, 21. The two can be seen together on a hotel surveillance video playing poker, and later entering a hotel room, where Flores was then found dead.

Van der Sloot initially confessed to killing Flores, but later said his statements were coerced and that he didn't have a state-appointed translator. So far, all his requests to have his Peruvian confession thrown out have been denied.

Glor added, if convicted, van der Sloot faces up to 35 years in prison for killing of Flores. He's been arrested twice by Aruban authorities, but never charged in the death of Holloway.

Could this new admission that he extorted money to get revenge on Holloway's parents influence the case against him in Peru?

Ford said on the broadcast Monday, "Probably not. It might be out there on the periphery and depending upon whether he testifies and says some things that might create an opening for this to come in, then you might hear something about it. But otherwise, the case in Peru, they have a lot of evidence against him in addition to what they say is his confession ... that confession is still in play and probably will be in play."

So why is van der Sloot still talking?

Ford said, "An older defense attorney said to me once when I first started practicing, 'You can protect against a lot of things except for the random acts of stupidity on the part of your own client. And one of the first things you say as a defense attorney to your client is, 'Don't talk. I'll let you know if there's any conversation, I'll do the talking for you. Don't talk.' But it seems as if this guy has this drive to talk about things that end up being very damaging for him and it's puzzling as to why he'd be saying these things."

Ford said if he were van der Sloot's lawyer, he would be trying to cobble together a plea deal for his client.

He said, "We heard him talking earlier on about how much he wants to get out of the Peruvian prison and it looks like he'll spend a chunk of time there. So if I'm his lawyer, I might be saying can we package something, can we get the Aruban authorities to say, 'Look, if we admit to Natalee Holloway, can everybody agree that we will serve our time in Aruba as opposed to this facility in Peru.' So there's not a whole lot of negotiating because he has serious charges he's looking at. And the back end is the extortion charges here in the United States, and basically he just confessed to all of that."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue