Van der Sloot Sues Lawyer for Misrepresentation, Abuse of Authority

Joran van der Sloot (CBS/AP)
Joran van der Sloot (CBS/AP)

LIMA, Peru (CBS/AP) Joran van der Sloot is suing the lawyer who represented him at the time police say he confessed to murdering Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room, his current attorney said Saturday.

PICTURES: Van der Sloot Hotel Room Crime Scene

According to police, van der Sloot offered a remarkably complete confession to Flores' murder. Van der Sloot later recanted the confession in a Dutch newspaper, saying he was "confused" and "very scared."

Now, his current attorney Maximo Altez has told The Associated Press that he filed suit Friday, charging Luz Romero Chinchay, who represented van der Sloot when he confessed, with misrepresentation, abuse of authority and conspiracy to commit a crime. Altez said the initial lawyer "pretended to be a public advocate when she is actually a private attorney."

"We have searched the name of Luz Romero Chinchay in the list of public defenders provided by the Ministry of Justice and her name was not on that list. We do not know why the police called this lawyer. We want to know who paid for her because my client did not," Altez said.

Under Peruvian law, a suspect who does not have private counsel is provided with a public defender who works for the Ministry of Justice.

Altez said he also has filed suit charging the same offenses against Col. Miguel Canlla, chief of the police homicide squad, who led the interrogation of van der Sloot.

Neither Romero Chinchay nor Canlla could be reached for comment.

A motion by van der Sloot seeking to throw out his confession was dismissed by a judge on June 25. Altez previously told The Associated Press that he would appeal the judge's decision to a higher court, and CNN reports that Altez has said van der Sloot's strategy is to "paralyze the process."

Explicit crime scene photos were previously obtained exclusively by 48 Hours | Mystery from sources close to the investigation and published exclusively by Crimesider. They show a severely beaten Flores, her body badly bruised, her clothes stained with blood.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 to 35 years in prison.

Van der Sloot also remains the sole suspect in the unresolved 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

Complete Coverage of Joran van der Sloot on Crimesider.