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Chile deports Dutch murder suspect to Peru.

TACNA: Chile on Friday deported to Peru a Dutch man who is wanted for the murder of a young woman in Lima and has been linked to the 2005 disappearance of an American teenage girl in Aruba.

Chile flew Joran Van der Sloot to its far north and handed him over to Peruvian police at the border, said Douglas Ramirez, a police official in the northern town of Arica.

A forlorn-looking Van der Sloot was handcuffed and wearing a bullet-proof vest when Peruvian police escorted him into the country in the southern Tacna region.

Van der Sloot is the prime suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, whose body was found in a Lima hotel room on Wednesday.

Javier Villa, the head of Peru s judiciary, told reporters that Van der Sloot could face at least 25 years in prison if found guilty of murdering Flores, the daughter of a wealthy businessman.

This week Peruvian police said they were "convinced" that Van der Sloot was responsible for killing Flores, a business student.

He was stopped by police in central Chile on Thursday after traveling hundreds of miles from the border to a beach resort city near the capital, Santiago.

Chilean police said Van der Sloot has denied he was involved in the murder of Flores. Van der Sloot, in his early 20s, travels the world to participate in poker tournaments and was in Peru for that reason, local media reported.

Police said Van der Sloot and Flores met at a casino in Lima, and that they may have played poker together.

The murder probe has brought renewed attention to the case of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old American from Alabama who disappeared during a high school graduation trip in the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

Van der Sloot was arrested twice in the Holloway case, which was much publicized in the United States, but he was never charged due to insufficient evidence.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia said Van der Sloot must face justice in the Andean country.

"If he is found guilty, he ll have to serve a sentence here. After that he could be extradited to the United States, where he may have to serve another sentence for extortion, and then the Dutch judges may want to get hold of him," he said.

Alabama authorities issued an arrest warrant for Van der Sloot on extortion charges linked to Holloway s disappearance.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Jun 7, 2010
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