Chile arrests Dutchman van der Sloot over Peru death

Peruvian police show a picture of suspect Joran van der Sloot at a press conference, 2 June 2010 Peruvian police showed a picture of Mr van der Sloot at a news conference

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Police in Chile have arrested Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, who is wanted in Peru in connection with a murder.

Mr van der Sloot, 22, was allegedly seen with Peruvian Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, in a casino before she was found dead in a hotel room in Lima.

Chilean police said he had been detained near the capital, Santiago.

Mr van der Sloot was arrested but never charged over the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

The case was the subject of wide public interest in the US and elsewhere.

The Dutch foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant for Mr van der Sloot, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Allegations

Mr van der Sloot is believed to have entered Peru on 14 May to play in a poker tournament.

He crossed the border from Peru into Chile on 31 May, police said.

Alfredo Espinosa, chief national spokesman for Chile's investigative police, told AP that Mr van der Sloot remained calm in detention and that the Chilean police were awaiting instructions from their Peruvian counterparts.

Mr van der Sloot was questioned but never charged in the disappearance of Ms Holloway, an American student who went missing in Aruba five years ago this week.

Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for the Dutchman in New York, told AP that he had not been in touch with his client since the allegations were made in Peru.

"Joran van der Sloot has been falsely accused of murder once before," said Mr Tacopina.

"The fact is he wears a bull's-eye on his back now and he is a quote-unquote usual suspect when it comes to allegations of foul play."

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