NEW YORK (CBS) The lawyer who represented Joran van der Sloot at the time police say he confessed to murdering Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room says the Dutchman hired her to be his attorney, contradicting a claim made in a pending lawsuit.
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."
His current attorney, Maximo Altez, filed suit earlier this month charging Luz Romero Chinchay, who represented van der Sloot when he confessed, with misrepresentation, abuse of authority and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Altez told The Associated Press that Chinchay "pretended to be a public advocate when she is actually a private attorney."
But Chinchay denies the allegations in an interview with CNN, claiming it was no secret that she was a private attorney.
"I asked [van der Sloot] if he wanted my services and he said yes," Chinchay told CNN. "I told him the on-duty defense attorney was present and I asked him if he wanted to give a statement through them. He said no, he wanted a private defense attorney."
Van der Sloot now claims that he never agreed to have Chinchay as his lawyer, even though she remembers the verbal agreement they had about representation and that his mother would pay his legal fees, according to CNN.
A motion by van der Sloot seeking to throw out his confession was dismissed by a judge on June 25. Altez previously told the AP 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."
Explicitwere 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 murder 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.