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Dutchman Sloot jailed 28 years for Peru murder


Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, a key suspect in the disappearance of a US student in 2005, received a 28-year sentence Friday after pleading guilty to the murder of a young Peruvian woman in 2010.

The prosecution accused the Dutchman of killing Stephany Flores, 21, "with cruelty and ferocity" in a Lima hotel on May 30, 2010 after they met playing poker in a casino. She was found dead after being beaten and strangled.

The Peruvian judges also ordered Van der Sloot to pay 200,000 soles, around $74,000,  (Dh271,813) in civil damages.

Van der Sloot, dressed in a green T-shirt and jeans, appeared calm as the sentence was read out and translated into Dutch.

He said he reserved the right to appeal.

It was the first sentence he received despite efforts by prosecutors to prove he was involved in the unsolved disappearance of 18-year-old US college student Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.

In the Peru case, prosecutors had sought a 30-year jail term for first-degree murder and theft.

The Dutchman admitted guilt at a hearing two days' ago, opening the way to an accelerated trial and the possibility of reduced time behind bars.

His sentence would end on June 20, 2038, due to time already served, said presiding judge Victoria Montoya Friday. After that, he would be expelled from Peru.

The case attracted widespread attention in Peru due to the prominence of the victim's father, a well-known businessman, and indignation aroused by a crime perpetrated by a "gringo" against a young Peruvian.

Ricardo Flores, the father, accepted the sentence Friday but criticized the fact that Van der Sloot was receiving certain privileges in jail.

Under Peru's penal system, once he has served a third of his sentence the Dutchman can apply for parole for good behavior, with work or study counted in his favor.

The case was closely followed in the United States due to the Holloway case.

The Dutchman was twice arrested in that probe and spent three months in jail but was never formally charged. Holloway's body has not been found.

The Lima trial provided no insights into the Holloway case.

Van der Sloot's lawyer, however, at one point mentioned the "extreme psychological shock" suffered by his client due to numerous articles slandering the Dutchman on the fifth anniversary of Holloway's disappearance, in May 2010.

The judges decided, however, that the defendant had been lucid and responsible for his acts and did not have diminished psychological faculties.

The trial was postponed last week after Van der Sloot admitted guilt but asked for more time to decide how to plead.