Natalee Holloway Investigation: Steve Cohen, All three suspects will be requestioned for discrepancies
From Rita Cosby, ‘Live & Direct’, December 21, 2005
(Guests: Steve Cohen, John Q. Kelly, Dave Holloway)
We pretty much assumed that Gerold Dompig would be bring Joran Van der Sloot in for questioning when he returned from Holland to Aruba for Christmas vacation from college. Dompig had made references to such, while many wondered why he would delay such questioning and not go to Holland months ago? He certainly has made it known he would come to Mountain Brook, AL as soon as possible. What is a bit more perplexing is the comment made by Steve Cohen, adviser to the Aruban Government.
It is expected that he will be re-questioned somewhere in the next 10-day period. I doubt that they will bring him back for questioning immediately, but it will be in that period. And also, it is expected the Kalpoes will also be brought in for questioning.
What would possess the ALE to give Joran and the Kalpoes the opportunity to have ten days to meet and once again confirm their stories? Will they meet again pool side at the VDS residence again? That same residence that was never fully searched. Just like the initial ten days of this investigation that was botched when the ALE did not consider these people the primary suspects and search their homes. Who does this? Who repeats the same mistakes that most likely doomed this investigation from the outset? Is this the concerted effort that the Aruban delegation promised Representative Bachus last week?
Rep. Spencer Bachus said he came away from a Friday meeting with Aruban officials with the sense that they plan to vigorously pursue leads in the disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway.
The ALE wants to interview the Mountain Brook teens immediately, yet they have the three prime suspects under their nose and are going to wait ten days? Is this their idea of “vigorously pursue leads“? This is just the appearance that is projected to the United States that is the reason why people feel such a distrust with the way the investigation has gone in the Natalee Holloway disappearance.
If there are discrepancies in the three suspects stories as Steve Cohen points out, why would they wait until Joran Van der Sloot comes back to Aruba to re-interview the Kalpoe brothers? Then, the ALE would wait another 10 days after that? As Dave Holloway went on to say, “You know, it’s good to see that they give them all advance notice and tell them exactly what they need to know and what they need to be questioned on.” Is it any wonder why Dave Holloway has questioned the direction of this investigation and the ALE? Whether the three suspects attorneys knew about the questioning previously or not is not really the question. What would be is why was Steve Cohen privy to this information? The attorney for Natalee Holloway’s family brings up a valid point and one that has remained an issue from the outset and the communication issue that has hampered this investigation and caused the riff between the family and Aruban authorities.
But once again, I wish the family or myself would not hear it through the media and be the last ones to know, that we’d be kept in the loop by the media and the journalists and the Strategic Communications Task Force and be privy to some of this information.
How is it possible that selective information is given out by the ALE as to who and when they will investigate or interview witnesses or suspects? Why is it that an individual such as Steve Cohen who as an adviser to the Aruban Government, The Aruban Strategic Communications Task Force, Aruba the Truth and the AHATA is privy to such information while the family and their legal representatives are not? What else is he privy to? Please tell me that the term “conflict of interest” is unknown in Aruba? Everyone of these organizations has a vested interest and an agenda in this matter; hotels, tourism, government, business and media. How is it possible that such an organization could even have the slightest implication of knowledge of information in an investigation that the family of a missing teenager does not?
ORANJESTAD(AAN): A press conference given by the Strategic Communications Task Force (SCT) took place on Friday, where the CEO of AHATA and members of the SCT that they held a meeting and they came to the decision to name a special person to be spokesperson for SCT, for everything that has to do with the case of Natalee Holloway.
ATIA’s president, Serge Mansur, said that the decision was to name Steve Cohen for this post.
So Steve Cohen has access to information that the parents of Natalee Holloway do not? A group, the Strategic Task Force (STF), made up of members from the hotel and government have access to information of what we have always been told is secretive under Dutch law. With a specific agenda in place, Steve Cohen, seems to be privy to information that not even the parents are allowed. As we would later learn, Steve Cohen, was involved with the Task Force from the beginning.
Can anyone not see the obvious conflicts of interest that exist? An organization set up to combat the “spin” of the MSM when they are provided the information first to spin it as they might. That coupled with the concept of not questioning suspects that you knowingly have issues with discrepancies in their statements is perplexing. First not to bring the Kalpoe’s in for questioning until Joran Van der Sloot returns. Then to wait another ten days to do so, when the ALE goes on record to wanting to interview the MB teens immediately. This is what the world sees. This the the perception of equality that the United States sees and reads about. Is it any wonder why people have decided to boycott Aruba as a reaction to how this case was and is still being handled?
Instead of getting better, it appears to be getting worse. Whats has always been a troubling question is why does the Task Force, Steve Cohen, etc feel the need to defend the three suspects in order to defend Aruba and its image? One has nothing to do with the other, yet they continue to given that perception.
STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO ARUBAN GOVERNMENT: Well, I think the sequence of events is fairly simple. Joran will be arriving back in Aruba in the next 24 to 48 hours. It is expected that he will be re-questioned somewhere in the next 10-day period. I doubt that they will bring him back for questioning immediately, but it will be in that period. And also, it is expected the Kalpoes will also be brought in for questioning.
I do want to make the distinction for you and your audience between questioning and rearrest. This is a questioning procedure that Chief Dompig is going to go through with them because as they’ve analyzed the time-line, they’ve found some other discrepancies and they want to review these discrepancies with the three suspects.
COSBY: Hey, Steve, what are those discrepancies exactly?
COHEN: Well, I think it’s mostly time-line discrepancies, Rita. As you look at their testimony and their interrogations of where they were at different times between 1:30-something in the morning and between 3:30 in the morning, these are very important two or three-hour blocks that the investigators want to review in detail. I can’t go much further than that because, obviously, we don’t want to give away the nature of the interrogation.
By the way, the attorneys of these boys are aware that questioning was likely to occur within the next few week periods. So this is not a surprise to anyone.
COSBY: Although it’s interesting, the time. We heard it might be coming, but now this is the first time we’re hearing when it’s going to happen. Incidentally, Steve, it just crossed the Associated Press wires, I’m being told, that Joran has returned to the island, they said today. So Joran Van Der Sloot apparently just returned to the island. That’s crossing the Associated Press wires that he met with his parents at the airport and left without speaking to reporters, but that he is back in Aruba. So that’s good that her will be at least available for that re-questioning.
Steve, I want to show a comment, first. Let me roll this, if we could. This is Chief Gerold Dompig, the police chief there in Aruba. This is what he said to me last month when we talked about the boys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEROLD DOMPIG, ARUBAN DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF: I still believe that these boys have been lying. They’re still lying. And everybody knows that by now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: That, of course, was the police chief talking to me last month here on the show. You know, Steve, as we hear that, is this a voluntary questioning or involuntary?
COHEN: Well, they can be compelled to come back because they continue to be suspects. Remember that when Joran was allowed to go begin school, that basically, the suspect characteristic had not been waived, nor has it been with the Kalpoes, so…
COSBY: I guess what I’m asking you is, Can they lie under oath? That was a distinction you and I talked about the other day.
COHEN: Yes, I think it’s important to clarify all this, is that if they’re under oath and they lie, that could be felonious. If they’re involved in an interrogation and they lie, if the result of that lie leads to something that’s a felony, obviously, that could be prosecuted. But it’s not like the United States. If you lie to a federal agent, that’s a felony, like Martha Stewart did to an FBI agent.
COSBY: Will they be under oath, Steven, in this new series of questioning?
COHEN: Well, the interrogation is not really an under-oath procedure to the way it would be in our court if you were under oath in front of a judge. It does not have the same sense of urgency and the same weight as it would. However, they have specific questions to ask them along the time-line, and as Dompig said, he’s certain that there’s discrepancies in what they said and he wants to see if he can clear them up. That’s not to say that even if they’re not cleared up and they areÃ¢â‚¬”if they were still lying, that that’s going to lead to a felony count.
COSBY: Right. Steve, if you could stick with us because I want to bring inÃ¢â‚¬”this is the new attorney for the Holloway family, John Q. Kelly. John, of course, represented a lot of high-profile clients, including the family of Nicole Brown Simpson in the civil case against O.J. Simpson, and of course, son that. A lot of folks remember that well. And also, we have with us on the phone, Natalee’s father, Dave Holloway, who joins us on the phone from his home.
John, let me get your reaction to this breaking news that now the suspects, as we just heard from Steve, probably in the next 10 days, will be re-questioned.
JOHN Q. KELLY, ATTORNEY FOR NATALEE HOLLOWAY’S FAMILY: That’s terrific. It shows some progress. But once again, I wish the family or myself would not hear it through the media and be the last ones to know, that we’d be kept in the loop by the media and the journalists and the Strategic Communications Task Force and be privy to some of this information.
COSBY: Let me get Dave Holloway. Dave Holloway, your reaction to the news that the three suspects are going to be re-questioned in the next 10 days?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY’S FATHER: Well, that is good news they’re going to be re-questioned. Of course, the question I have now is, Are they going to watch and see if they all get together and get all their stories straight now? You know, it’s good to see that they give them all advance notice and tell them exactly what they need to know and what they need to be questioned on.
COSBY: Yes, Steve, how can you guarantee that they’re not going to sort of try to combine their stories, like they did that very first night, when they got caught in that first lie?
HOLLOWAY: Well, there’s not any guarantees. I mean, they already have notice now, so, you know…
COHEN: I don’t think there are guarantees of any of it. And as I said, this isn’t something that just came up. I mean, the attorneys knew for some time the likelihood that these boys would be brought back for questioning. I think it’s a little silly to expect that the attorneys wouldn’t have briefed them anyway. And again, of course, the attorneys will be with them for any interrogations. They cannot speak during interrogation, but they can take breaks and inform their clients.
COSBY: Is that something that John Q. Kelly could play a role in, you know, so we can get the family representative involved, Steve?
COHEN: No, I don’tÃ¢â‚¬”unfortunately, I don’t think. And I know that John, of course, is after very good purposes for the family. I just think that this is part of the process that is a closed process by the inspectors involved in the interrogation. I do think, though, that we’re at a point now where it’s very important that Mr. Kelly and the Holloway’s be able to reinsert themselves into communication with either Karin Janssen or Chief Dompig on a confidential basis, so that they can, in fact, know what’s going on.
I think we’re all hoping that we can sort of put away to the acrimony of the last months and just get down to all of us putting our energy on both sides of this issue because I think we’re all on the same side, and to try to get as much faith and power together to solve this case.
COSBY: John, are you concerned that, as we just heard, at least right now, this is questioning not under oath, so they could technically lie again under Aruban law. What concerns you the most, John?
KELLY: Well, the suspects are not going to be under oath, and there’s no repercussions for lying once again. And certainly, the element of surprise has been lost, too. But you know, as Steve pointed out, I’m sure they’ve themselves and the attorneys have known this day was going to come at some point, and I just hope that law enforcement rises to the occasion down there and finds a way to get the answers the family so desperately needs.
COSBY: And Dave Holloway, what concerns you the most? And what question, if you had them in front of you, what would you ask?
HOLLOWAY: Well, you know, I know the time-line is important. And certainly, I would ask them about any other people that may be involved, such as the father. You know, he’s no longer a suspect, and I’m wondering if he could be interviewed as a witness now.
COSBY: Real quick, Steve. You got a two-second answer. Will the father come in, Paulus Van Der Sloot?
COHEN: He could be brought inÃ¢â‚¬”he could definitely be brought in either voluntarily or he could be brought in again as a suspect, if that is the case…
COSBY: Is that in the plan?
COHEN: … if they thought he could.
COSBY: Is that the plan?
COHEN: No, I don’t believe that is in the plan.
COSBY: OK, guys, thank you very much. Steve, we do appreciate it. John Kelly, I’m glad to hear that these guys are coming back in. And Dave, our prayers are going to be with you, too, during this holiday season. Thank you all very, very much.
So what should authorities look for when they re-question these three boys now with this new news, especially now that we know that Joran is back in Aruba? Is it possible to tell whether or not someone’s lying just by the sound of their voice? Well, a piece of technology is putting that idea to the test. One voice analyst listened to an interview from suspect Joran Van Der Sloot that aired on American television, and he has big-time doubts about Joran’s story.