Hidden camera images show Dutch student saying Natalee Holloway died on Aruba beach

Monday, February 4, 2008

Van der Sloot said he was lying when he made the comments

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Hidden camera footage broadcast on television in the Netherlands on Sunday showed Dutch student Joran van der Sloot saying he was with Natalee Holloway when she died on a beach in Aruba, and that he asked a friend to dispose of her body at sea.

"She suddenly didn't do anything anymore," Van der Sloot said of the 18-year-old Holloway in a conversation with a man he believed to be his friend.

Last week, however, Van der Sloot said he was lying when he made those comments during what he thought was a private conversation with a friend and denied that he had anything to do with Holloway's 2005 disappearance.

The exchange, in Dutch, was recorded in a Range Rover that had been rigged with three hidden cameras by Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch television crime reporter who claims the footage solves the mystery surrounding Holloway's disappearance.

Van der Sloot said he panicked and tried but failed to revive Holloway before calling a friend with a boat to dispose of the body.

"The ocean is big," he said.

Holloway vanished in May 2005 just before she was due to fly home to Alabama at the end of her high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island. No trace of her has been found.

Chief prosecutor Hans Mos and others in his Aruban office did not return calls or e-mails about the Dutch crime reporter's information.

But last week, prosecutors announced they were reopening their investigation into Holloway's disappearance after seeing De Vries' material. The prosecutors made no reference to the possibility of an arrest, and Van der Sloot has said he does not expect to be arrested again.

Van der Sloot was interviewed last week by the respected Dutch television show "Pauw & Witteman" following reports that De Vries had captured him making statements about the case.

"It is true I told someone. Everybody will see it Sunday," Van der Sloot said, referring to De Vries' planned television show.

The Dutch student's father, Paul Van der Sloot, declined to comment when reached in Aruba by The Associated Press before the tape aired.

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