Steve Cohen and Arlene Ellis Schipper have basically been in the “where are they now” category of late in discussing the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the situation regarding the three suspects, Joran Van der Sloot, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. That was until last nights Rita Cosby’s, ‘Live & Direct’.
The other night the Kalpoe’s attorney, David Kock, stated the following:
Of course, it’s a call of the DA. But from the information that we are getting, it seems like, you know, they know, too, they have to round this up. I won’t be surprised if, you know, summer, June, July the case will be presented.
Now for some reason Steve Cohen and Arlene Ellis Schipper feel it their need to SPIN for a defense attorney? These two people are members of the Aruban government sponsored, Aruban Strategic Communications Task Force. Steve Cohen is the Aruban government’s spokes person; why on earth is he coming forth and stating what David Kock either did or did not mean to say? Even for Aruba this is peculiar.
The comment Steve did and got quite the tongue lashing from Rita Cosby in the process. Read the following as the fur certainly flew on last nights show. Quite the interesting development in that Steve Cohen feels the need to tell everyone what another individual meant to say. Hey Steve, you speak for the government; you do not speak for David Kock.
Live & Direct; March 21, 2006
And now let‘s bring in, if we could, Steve Cohen. He‘s a special adviser to the Aruban government. And joining us now live on the phone from the island is Aruban attorney Arlene Ellis Schipper.
Steve, does the Aruban government want to see this case go to trial and wrapped up in some shape or form, whichever way it is?
STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO ARUBAN GOVERNMENT: There‘s no question that the goal has always been to figure out what happened to Natalee, who was responsible, if anyone, was there criminality? You know, we want that result.
But all that‘s happened here, Rita, is that you have an aggressive producer who got hold of the attorney, and the attorney, just talking out loud, thinking out loud, came up with these suppositions that are totally…
COSBY: All right, Steve. I got to interrupt you. I got to interrupt you on two counts.
Earlier this week, many in Aruba were upset over the comments that Steve Cohen had made on behalf of the Aruban prosecution, investigators, government and tourism industry. But why not comment on all the statements that were made? Also, I guess it was OK for Karen Janssen to make the “fireworks” comment. First we had the OM and defense not happy with statements Cohen.
The Public Prosecutor (OM) has called Steve Cohen, spokesperson of the Strategic Communications Task Force in the United States to account his statements in Dr. Phil’s show of last week. During the show in question, Cohen had declared that the OM is of the opinion that the three boys are guilty of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. The OM had asked Cohen in a letter where he got the information from and called him to account the fact that he declared the three boys guilty.
Then the ATA and Briesen also disturbed about Cohen’s comments an put out a statement.
ATA emphasized in a press release that ATA and Tourism-minister Edison Briesen (MEP) do not agree with the statements of Cohen on the details of the investigation and the guiltiness of the three suspects.
Cohen had already made such statements in Dr. Phil’s show that was recorded on January 10th, five days before Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) conference. Cohen’s statements had been on the Task Force’s website for some time. Cohen had also added an elucidation on the same website. Both articles are meanwhile removed from arubatruth.com.
Of course the fact that Steve Cohen is a spokes person for the Strategic Communications Task Force and Arubatruth.com is the on-line communication vehicle for that group just makes it all the more puzzling why they would need to take down any article from the web site. How can there be a communication issue? They are the same entity? Maybe this is the lack of communication that Dave Holloway and Beth Twitty have been discussing for nearly eight months.
However, its not just the Dr. Phil show that Steven Cohen was making such comments and predictions. Sure the American public heard Steve Cohen’s comments regarding the guilt of the three suspects, but did they hear it from The BBC Caribbean?
Dave Holloway on Live & Direct (1/23/06), “Paulus early on in the investigation, he was pointing the finger back towards the Mountain Brook kids”
Rita Cosby, Live & Direct: January 24, 2006 : (Dave Holloway & Steve Cohen)
LIVE & DIRECT right now is special adviser to the Aruban government, Steve Cohen. Also with us on the phone is Natalee Holloway’s father, Dave Holloway.
Steve, why are they doing this now?
STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO ARUBAN GOVERNMENT: Well, I think it’s just a matter of a process of elimination. You know, we go through a lot of these scenarios. Finally, we get to the point where we say we need to talk to some of those who were with Natalee the day and then the night that she disappeared.
We have to go through a process through the FBI in Barbados to get access to these individuals. And by the way, the FBI will be questioning them and the Aruban authorities will be the observers in keeping with the covenants that we have with the United States government.
COSBY: What do you think they could provide, though, Steve? Is there a question of Natalee’s state of mind? Is there a question of something else, speaking to them, maybe they heard or saw? Where do you think it’s headed?
COHEN: Well, all of those things are important. Let me talk first about just the circumstances surrounding that evening. Anything that investigators can find out about what it was like that evening just generally is important and then specifically, what was Natalee thinking? Was she in a good mood or a bad mood? And then, of course, what was her physical state? All of these things will add into the puzzle of what these teens say versus what the Aruban authorities collected from other witnesses.
COSBY: Dave, what do you make of all of this? Do you think this is going to get any step closer to finding your daughter? Or is this sort of just grasping for straws?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY’S FATHER: Well, I think it’s going to close some of the holes in the investigation. You know, when I met with Paulus early on in the investigation, he was pointing the finger back towards the Mountain Brook kids. And I think it’s just a way of just closing that gap and putting that to rest.
Amigoe: January 23, 2006; OM and defense not happy with statements Cohen
ARUBA Ã¢â‚¬” The Public Prosecutor (OM) has called Steve Cohen, spokesperson of the Strategic Communications Task Force in the United States to account his statements in Dr. Phil’s show of last week. During the show in question, Cohen had declared that the OM is of the opinion that the three boys are guilty of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. The OM had asked Cohen in a letter where he got the information from and called him to account the fact that he declared the three boys guilty.
“As Public Prosecutor, we are not allowed to comment on the question whether a person is guilty or not, and we will never do that either, neither will we relinquish detailed information from the investigation”, said spokesperson Mariaine Croes of the OM. It upsets the OM that Cohen, as official spokesperson of Aruba, has done this. Also the lawyer of the Kalpoe brothers, David Kock, has indicated not being pleased at all with the firm statements of Cohen. He says that Cohen should have maintained the indication that the three boys are suspects, but Cohen decided to assume the judge’s position by indicating firmly that they are guilty and his statements are considered very important since he is partly being paid by the government.
The Aruban Tourism industry continues to make such bold and positive claims, yet where are the posted tourism numbers since the summer? It’s not just Americans that are asking such questions, its Aruban politicians as well. From Travel Weekly comes the following:
“Despite the publicity surrounding the tragic disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the events that have followed, 2005 was a successful year for Aruba in terms of visitor figures and the launch of new projects on the island. Not all figures are in yet, but we recorded an overall growth of 3% from the U.S. market through October.”
Echoing that sentiment was Edison Briesen, minister of tourism, who addressed the media at the recent Caribbean Marketplace in San Juan. Briesen outlined several projects in the works on the island:
- The development of a second tourism corridor at Baby Beach on the eastern end of Aruba;
- A $60 million expansion plan at Queen Beatrix International Airport and an expansion of the cruise ship terminal;
- An upgrade and renovation project in downtown Oranjestad;
- The launch of a tourism-training program for locals called The Promise;
- More than $150 million in various hotel renovations;
- The continuation of Aruba’s successful ACE (Aruba Certified Expert) program for agents.
- (But no money for this?)