(NEW YORK) — Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, on Monday refused to sign the laissez-passer that would allow him to be extradited to the United States, his lawyer tells ABC News.
Van der Sloot plans to appeal his extradition to the U.S., Maximo Altez, his lawyer, said. A hearing on the appeal will likely happen Tuesday or Thursday, he added.
This process could slow down when van der Sloot is transferred to the U.S., but it is unclear how much this action will delay his extradition.
A National Penitentiary Institute of Peru spokesperson had previously said van der Sloot will likely be extradited to the United States on Thursday night.
Van der Sloot left the Challapalca prison in Peru on Saturday to be transferred to another prison in Lima, where he’s awaiting his extradition to the U.S.
The Dutch citizen has been serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old college student Stephany Flores.
U.S. Justice Department officials acknowledge that a “temporary surrender” was granted by Peru under Article X of an existing extradition treaty between the two countries. The department would not comment on the timing of his movement, citing policy regarding safety and security concerns.
In the U.S., van der Sloot faces extortion and wire fraud charges stemming from an accusation that he tried to profit from his connection to the Holloway case.
Holloway, 18, went missing in May 2005 while on a high school graduation trip in Aruba. She was last seen driving off with a group of young men, including van der Sloot, then 17.
Van der Sloot, who was detained as a suspect in the teen’s disappearance and then later released, was indicted by an Alabama federal grand jury in 2010 for allegedly trying to extort Holloway’s family.
Federal prosecutors alleged that in March 2010 van der Sloot contacted Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, through her lawyer and claimed he would reveal the location of the teen’s body in exchange for $250,000, with $25,000 paid upfront. During a recorded sting operation, Beth Holloway’s attorney, John Q. Kelly, met with van der Sloot at an Aruba hotel, giving him $10,000 in cash as Beth Holloway wired $15,000 to van der Sloot’s bank account, according to prosecutors.
Then, van der Sloot allegedly changed his story about the night he had been with Natalee Holloway, prosecutors said. Van der Sloot claimed he had picked her up but that she had demanded to be put down, so he threw her to the ground. He said her head hit a rock and she was killed instantly by the impact, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said van der Sloot then took Kelly to a house and claimed that his father, who had since died, buried Natalee Holloway’s body in the building’s foundation.
Kelly later emailed van der Sloot, saying the information he had provided was “worthless,” according to prosecutors. Within days, van der Sloot left Aruba for Peru.
ABC News’ Jack Date and Nadine El-Bawab contributed to this report.
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