The expected ruling by Peru – made public and announced Sunday in the government’s official gazette – requires van der Sloot to first complete his 28-year prison sentence there for the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman. Only then will Peru extradite him to the United States, where he is accused of extortion for taking $25,000 from Holloway’s mother, Beth, in exchange for information about Natalee’s fate that proved false.
“I’m terribly disappointed that he’s not going to be brought to the United States to face the indictments here at this time,” John Q. Kelly, the attorney for Natalee’s mom, Beth Holloway, tells PEOPLE. “Most importantly, we believe that had he been brought here to answer the charges, there would have been much greater likelihood that he would have disclosed the location of Natalee’s whereabouts.”
The extortion case grew out of a cat-and-mouse sting in the spring of 2010 that was conducted by Kelly working with the FBI in Aruba, where Natalee Holloway infamously vanished on the final night of a high school graduation trip after she was last seen with van der Sloot.
For years the Dutch national has told shifting accounts of what happened that night, and in a final series of emails and conversations he initiated with Kelly, he vowed to come clean and identify the location of Natalee’s remains buried in a house foundation.
In emails Kelly shared exclusively with PEOPLE, van der Sloot wrote on March 30, 2010: “I will do the right thing this situation hurts everyone involved and will continue to do so until it is over. I will take you to Natalee but I do not want it to be known the information came from me. In return I want to receive $250,000.”
Disappeared with $25,000
Kelly traveled to Aruba to meet with van der Sloot and arranged a down payment of $25,000 from Beth Holloway. But once van der Sloot had the money in his account, he slipped off the island before he could be arrested. He eventually traveled to Peru, where he met Stephany Flores in a casino and killed her in his hotel room on the exact fifth anniversary of Holloway’s May 30, 2005, disappearance.
The federal extortion charges were filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, where Beth Holloway was living, as Van der Sloot was under investigation for the Flores murder.
In one of their final email exchanges, van der Sloot wrote to Kelly on May 17, 2010: “Hey, after talking to my lawyer I will not be turning myself in. I did not tell you the truth so the information you have is worthless check it out all you want but it is not true. I will be in trouble if I do tell you the truth or worse my family will be hurt so I really hope this will all come to an end sooner then I think but I also promise I will tell you the truth if there is ever no more threat you have my word. I’m sorry for making a fool out of you if that is why you think. I think you are a nice man and a man of your word and I am most definitely not. Take care. Joran.”
In an interview last year with PEOPLE, Kelly said: “The $25,000 was Beth’s money. She never thought giving him the money would lead her to her daughter. She thought it would lead to him being arrested and being extradited to the U.S. We never thought he would tell the truth or cooperate. The point was to get him on the extortion counts. That’s what it was all about. But, he fell through the cracks, got out of Aruba, and used the 25 grand to go to Colombia and then Peru and kill someone.”
“The story should be told now to show how bad he really is and how he tried to extort $250,000 from Natalee’s mother and just deliberately tortured her for a large sum of money,” he said. “We knew that if he took that money and the information was false, which we knew it would be, then he would be charged with these things.”
A U.S. judge, acting on a request by Natalee’s father Dave Holloway, eventually declared Natalee dead. A body has never been found.