the last person known to see alive, is set to face a judge in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday. Van der Sloot was extradited Thursday from a prison in Peru, where he is serving a 28-year sentence for murdering a woman in 2010.
Van der Sloot is not charged with killing Holloway, who was declared dead several years ago. The charges he faces in Birmingham instead revolve around his alleged attempt to extort money from her family.
In 2010, a federal grand jury indicted the Dutch national on charges of attempting to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s family in exchange for information about the location of her body, which turned out to be false.
While he isn’t facing murder charges, this could be an “opportunity for the truth to come out,” said Mark White, who represents Natalee Holloway’s father, Dave Holloway.
“For all of them it’s been a living nightmare,” he told CBS News. “It never goes away. It never heals. It never even scars. It remains an open wound.”
The 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway during a high school graduation trip in Aruba garnered international attention. Van der Sloot was the last person seen with her before she vanished. Despite being arrested twice, he was never charged and has maintained his innocence.
Van der Sloot was seen smiling as armed police escorted him from a prison in Lima, Peru, early Thursday. He arrived in the U.S. later on Thursday.
Theodore Simon, an expert on extraditions, said the U.S. government’s move to bring van der Sloot to the United States aims to avoid potential complications in future proceedings.
“The government is acting now in an effort to avoid lost evidence, frayed memories or as yet to deter determine variables and certainties that could complicate and or thwart any future extradition,” Simon said.
If convicted on the extortion charges, van der Sloot could face up to 20 years in prison, which he would serve after completing his murder sentence in Peru. His release in Peru is scheduled for 2038.