Opinion: Human rights (Joran van der Sloot)

POSTED: 11/29/11 7:10 AM

Joran van der Sloot has been a pain in the neck to a lot of people ever since the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway on May 30, 2005. For five years, Van der Sloot was the darling of some media; for some reason, editors like to refer to the murder-suspect who threw the Aruban tourism industry in a tailspin, as Joran.
That sounds too endearing to our taste for a young man who is suspected of such a horrible crime. He squeezed, if we remember correctly, $25,000 out of the Holloway family with a promise to finally reveal what he had done with their daughter’s body.
Exactly five years after Holloway’s disappearance, Van der Sloot got involved in a murder case in Peru of all places. The troubled Dutchman murdered 21-year old student Stephanie Flores and robbed her for good measure.
Van der Sloot fled to Chili, got caught there and unceremoniously sent back to Peru where he has been sweating it ever since in the infamous Castro Castro prison in Lima. His trial will begin sometime in January of next year.
The presumption of innocence applies to everyone who goes on trial and it therefore also applies to Van der Sloot. But it is fair to say that sympathy is not on his side. The Holloway-family is not alone in the cheering section on this one.
Even in his dire circumstances, Van der Sloot manages to capture the attention of a global audience. Last week he did it again, this time with an outlandish claim for damages against Chile for violating his human rights.
A tidy sum of $10 million is Van der Sloot’s idea about compensation about what these south-American regimes have done to him. His attorney has addressed the Inter-American commission on human rights, conveniently forgetting that his client had no second thoughts about his victims’ human rights.
Ten million bucks? It is easy to believe that inmates in the Castro Castro prison lose their mind if they stay there long enough and Van der Sloot seems to be a good example.
When his trial comes up a possible violation of his rights may of course come up for consideration and a judge may find reason to lower his sentence because of it. Fair enough – there is no reason to give Van der Sloot a different treatment from anybody else, though the boy has done his utmost to become the most hated Dutchman on the planet during the past six years.
Beth Holloway is obviously looking forward to the moment they lock up Van der Sloot for thirty years. The thought that he might have even a miniscule chance of collecting ten million dollars from Chile for a human rights violation will be too much for her. We’re confident that Mrs. Holloway won’t have to spend sleepless nights over this issue, because Van der Sloot will never see that money. Take our word for it.

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