The witness, a Colombian national working as a gardener, who had been missing and failed to show up for his court appointments yesterday finally gave his sworn testimony to the court with his accounts that he “claimed he saw a suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway driving with two friends the night she vanished.”
ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) Ã¢â‚¬” A man who claimed he saw a suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway driving with two friends the night she vanished appeared in court Monday to give sworn testimony, days after police said he may have fled the country.
The witness had been summoned to appear in court last week, but authorities were unable to locate him and said he might have left the Dutch Caribbean island.
Police found the man and brought him to court, police spokesman Edwin Comenencia said, declining to say where or when they located him.
The man, whose name has not been disclosed, told police last month that he saw Joran van der Sloot, an 18-year-old Dutch high school student who has been detained in the case, and two Surinamese brothers driving near the Marriott Hotel around 2:30 a.m. on May 30.
The man’s account is significant because van der Sloot told authorities that he was already at home at 2:30 a.m. that night. Van der Sloot has admitted he was alone with Holloway that night, but said he left the 18-year-old from Mountain Brook unharmed at a beach near the Marriott Hotel.
As previously posted, the Witness had been missing and failed to appear for previous court dates. The importance of sworn testimony and credibility of this witness could prove crucial in this case with the many different accounts that Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers have provided during this investigation.
Under Dutch law, which governs Aruba, a sworn testimony is considered more credible because it allows the judge and lawyers on both sides of a case to question the witness.
We are very satisfied with the interrogations,” of the witness, said Ruud Oomen, a lawyer for Deepak Kalpoe, after the session. “The judge gave us the opportunity to ask the questions we wanted.” Oomen declined to comment further.
Chief Prosecutor Karin Janssen and other defense lawyers declined to comment upon leaving court.