June 5, 2010— -- Joran van der Sloot, the lone suspect in the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, faces an "extremely rude awakening" in Peru, where he has just been jailed as a suspect in the murder of a young Peruvian woman, a top international lawyer said today.
"The conditions of incarceration at best will be overcrowded and uncomfortable, and more likely can be described as deplorable and intolerable," said Philadelphia-based defense attorney Theodore Simon, whose clients have included Ira Einhorn, who was extradited from France to face murder charges; Alain Robert, the "French Spiderman" known for climbing skyscrapers; fight promoter Don King and Robert Durst, the heir to the New York real estate fortune.
"The most basic requirements will be in question -- and the basic services," he said. "So I think it's going to be an incredible shock to his system, the circumstances of his incarceration."
Van der Sloot, 22, was arrested Thursday in Chile in the killing of Stephany Flores, 21, who was found battered with a broken neck last Sunday in van der Sloot's hotel room in Peru's capital, Lima.
After his arrest, van der Sloot was brought back to Peru, where detectives today began questioning him about Flores' murder. Wearing a bulletproof vest, his hands handcuffed behind him, van der Sloot appeared stunned as he was briefly paraded before journalists in Lima.
Previously, van der Sloot was twice arrested -- and twice released for insufficient evidence -- after the 2005 disappearance of Holloway in Aruba.
Holloway was an 18-year-old celebrating her high school graduation when she vanished on the Caribbean island. Van der Sloot told investigators he left her on a beach, drunk. That's the last anyone saw of her.
Two years ago, a Dutch reporter captured hidden-camera footage of van der Sloot saying that after Holloway collapsed on the beach he asked a friend to dump her body in the sea. But judges in Aruba ruled it insufficient evidence to re-arrest him.
Simon said van der Sloot will find the criminal justice system much harsher and far slower in Peru than in Aruba, adding that it's unlikely the Dutch national will be released any time soon.
"He's going to confront something quite different," Simon said.
In Aruba there are speedy trial requirements, as there are in the United States. While he was in custody in Aruba [there were] very strict timetables which the court had to meet -- and ultimately he was released," the attorney said.