- REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Convicted killer Joran van der Sloot could win the opportunity of a lifetime if the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights grants his request for a new trial. He was sentenced to a 28 years behind bars for the murder of a Peruvian student but has petitioned for a new trial and the overturn of his current sentence.
"The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights are going to give a final decision by December," van der Sloot's lawyer, Aldo-Favio Cotrina, told Radar Online. "They could reverse the case and order a new trial to have his sentence reduced. This is very good news for Joran!"
Yet it may not bring much comfort to the family of Stephany Flores, whom he admitted murdering in 2010. Van der Sloot has claimed that he killed Flores because he was under "extreme psychological trauma" stemming from the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.
Ever since his conviction and sentence, a legal team has been working around-the-clock to free van der Sloot. They believe he did not receive a fair trial and have appealed the Peruvian and United States courts for leniency or a retrial.
"A letter was sent to us from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights last month confirming that they have accepted his case," Cotrina added.
It's the first step in setting van der Sloot free, though there is always the possibility that he could be extradited to the United States and stand trial for the extortion of Natalee Holloway's mother. His lawyers are adamantly fighting that possibility, given the high-profile nature of the case and the fact that prosecutors would be able to finally question him about Holloway's disappearance and murder.
U.S. attorneys have wanted to get honest answers from van der Sloot about the 2005 disappearance of Holloway, who was just a high school student when she vanished. He then took it upon himself to extort funds from Holloway's mother by playing on her desperation for answers.