There’s absolutely no basis for there to be any litigation in New York.
JOE TACOPINA, JORAN VAN DER SLOOT’S U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, two things, Rita. Fact: There is not a single nexus to New York State. There’s not a witness who resides in New York. None of the parties reside in New York. The instance alleged in the complaint didn’t occur in New York.
There’s absolutely no basis for there to be any litigation in New York. There’s no subpoena power from New York State courts to bring people in from Aruba. I mean, I could go on, and on, and on. That’s the fact.
Then I base it also on the law. The law is very clear in the state of New York. The motion we filed that the judge granted a stay in the proceedings this afternoon, to sort of proceed first and foremost with this threshold issue, Rita, which is the motion to dismiss this complaint on what they call a forum non conveniens.
There’s five steps. The highest court in the state of New York has laid out five factors. You need to meet just two of them on balance. We meet all five, in the sense of getting this case dismissed. And it’s really as simple as that.
COSBY: Now, Joe, you know, why do the motion to dismiss versus just respond to the allegations? You think you can get it thrown out outright? Or why not take the chance and respond and say, “Look, this is ridiculous”?
TACOPINA: Well, that, you knowÃ¢â‚¬”we may, Rita. Look, I’m not taking a victory lap here. I’m not presuming we’re winning. I mean, you know, this is a litigation. They have their position; we have ours.
I think I’m right. I’m sure John, who is a very good lawyer, thinks he’s right. You know, if there comes a time where we have to answer the allegations, the merits, believe me, there is absolutely no concern about doing that. I mean, quite frankly, the facts alleged in this complaint, that start, you know, where the first charge in the complaint is on page 12. The first count, if you will.
But these are imaginary. I mean, there is absolutely no witnesses who will come into court and put life to those words in that complaint. So I’m not concerned about it.
And look, again, what we’re saying is this belongs in Aruba, period. That’s where all the witnesses are. That’s where the transaction that is in dispute, and legally that’s what it’s called, that’s where it occurred.
And, again, this is not to try and deprive the Holloway family of doing what they think they need to do to resolve this mystery. I just hope there comes a point in time when, after all these months of looking only at this one individual, that, you knowÃ¢â‚¬”and realizing not a stitch of evidence has arisen that points towards him at all, you know, forensic evidence, witness evidence, all this investigation that’s been done, Rita, I just hope that people heed the advice and start looking elsewhere, because, you know, I want them to get closure. And I’d also like this to be resolved.
COSBY: But, Joe, Joe, and we literally have, literally, 10 seconds, but you understand their frustration, because Joran had made some inconsistent statements and lied. Don’t you understand this poor family?
TACOPINA: Oh, I absolutely do. And Joran has copped to that in his interviews. He’s an 18-year-old kid who said, “I know I caused this problem for myself,” but it doesn’t make him guilty of what they’re saying. We have Les Levine (ph), who’s an investigator. He’s involved in this case.
We’d love to help them resolve this, because, let me tell you something, I want to get the monkey off this kid’s back. And we, you know, quite frankly, hope and pray that this family gets some peace.
COSBY: And we all do hope for that. Joe, thank you very much.
When we come back, we’re going to get the family to respond. Stick with us, everybody.
COSBY: And let’s hear reaction now from Natalee Holloway’s family about the filing made by the Van Der Sloots today, motion to dismiss the civil case that the Holloway family filed against them. LIVE & DIRECT tonight is Natalee’s uncle, Paul Reynolds.
Paul, what’s your reaction, first of all, to this motion to dismiss by the Van Der Sloot family? Was this expected?
PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE HOLLOWAY’S UNCLE: Well, certainly, we expected them to resist the suit. That’s only normal procedure. And we’re very glad at this point that Joran has taken this opportunity to come forward and start speaking. We think this is the best opportunity we’ve had to find out what’s happened, give us some information, and maybe give this investigation a brand-new start.
COSBY: You know, I want to show just a clip from the filing, if I could. This is one of the quotes in the filing by Joe Tacopina, the attorney for Joran and his parents. And in it, it says that “the plaintiffs filed an emotionally charged complaint containing wild and fictitious allegations, which were based purely on conjecture.”
Do you think everything was grasping at straws or do you think that you guys had a bit of basis for the filing?
REYNOLDS: Well, there is no conjecture whatsoever. Joran himself has admitted to lying. He conspired. He lied. He possibly covered up the criminal acts, either intentionally or unintentional. So there’s no conjecture here at all.
He’s admitted to it. He needs to be responsible for it. I appreciate the fact he is coming forward and telling the truth. We hope he’s telling the truth, because it’s giving us some leads that we did not have before.
We’ve wasted incredible hours and money. So many people have been harmed by the lies, the conspiracy, you know, not only our family, people in the United States, people around the world, and Aruba. You know, his lies and his cover-up have hurt a great country, a great island, and it’s a shame what he’s done. And, you know, he and his father both are responsible for that.
COSBY: You know, in the filing, they also say this court, meaning the court that’s going to oversee this, would have no power over them as residents of Aruba, meaning because they’re Aruban residents. You can’t do any filing against them in the U.S., that there’s no jurisdiction.
Do you guys believe that there is some standing here? And also, what are you going to do if this does get dismissed? What is the family going to do?
REYNOLDS: Well, first of all, I don’t think it will be dismissed.
You know, Joran and his family have decided to use New York as a forum. They have decided to go public in New York. They’re broadcasting from New York. They’re making statements from New York. They have made New York an appropriate place to pursue the truth.
COSBY: Paul Reynolds, thank you very much. And I hope that your family does get some answers. Boy, do you deserve the truth, all of you. Thank you so much.