Joran van der Sloot's Days as Free Man Numbered?

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," February 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN GIBSON, CO-HOST: Developing now, Joran van der Sloot's days as a free man could be numbered. Right now an appeals court in Aruba is deciding whether or not the prime suspect in Natalee Holloway's disappearance can be detained by police once again. A ruling could be made at any time, but the judges have a few more days to decide.

The reopening of this nearly three-year-old case comes after a Dutch crime reporter managed to do what no one else could - get Joran to talk. John Q. Kelly is the attorney for Natalee's mother Beth. He joins us now. John, you know, Aruba seems to be very slow on a Joran arrest. How much more of the confession would he have to make to get himself arrested?

JOHN Q. KELLY, ATTORNEY FOR BETH HOLLOWAY: I don't think you need anything else, John. I mean, let's look at the facts -


KELLY: Let's look at the facts we're absolutely certain of. First of all, Joran goes to a bar a half hour before closing. He buys and pays for and hands one girl one drink. Lo and behold, that one girl was the one that leaves with him and gets into a car. By all accounts, she's incoherent. She's lapsing in and out of consciousness.

GIBSON: Are you are saying she was drugged?

KELLY: Her behavior suggests it, John.

GUILFOYLE: Highly possible.

KELLY: He's the last one with her. He fabricates a story the next day as to not being with her. We know he totally makes up the story about dropping her off at the Holiday Inn. Now, it comes out he said she had seizures. You do one of two things; you either call for help at the time, which he didn't do for some reason. And if you attribute that to youth or panic-ness(ph) or something like that, you, after the fact, cooperate. It's clear that he did not want her body found for a particular reason. I would have to think that he was responsible for her death, and all the circumstantial evidence -

GUILFOYLE: Evidence would stay in the body. Right.

KELLY: Sure. The evidence would be in the body. You don't want the body found.

GIBSON: John, what about Joran's father Paulus?

KELLY: Well, you know, there has been a lot of speculation on that, John. And you know, it was someone that Joran trusted a lot.



KELLY: You know, when you have a body on your hands - To make a call and say, "I've got this girl. She's had seizures. She's not breathing. She's with me. I need help." You've got to call someone you trust. You've got to call someone you're very close to and -

GUILFOYLE: And someone who knows the law that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all those obvious things connected in the island.

KELLY: Somebody who knows the law -

GUILFOYLE: Someone that you're willing to protect and not give a name even when you give a confession in a car to your friend.

GIBSON: OK. You see lawyers aside from the circumstances.

KELLY: One other thing, Kimberly -

GUILFOYLE: He likes the evidence, John.

KELLY: Kimberly, I just got to one of - as you recall, there is videotape that someone gave him a cell phone while he was in prison, which was his father who he obviously wanted -

GUILFOYLE: His father, violating the rules.

KELLY: And also wanted to stay in communication with while Joran was locked up being questioned. Paulus was being questioned before he was arrested. They wanted a line of communication. Now, I guess the father, if you want to put all this to rest, could take a lie detector test or something like that to appease everybody, but it doesn't seem like he's answering questions right now.

GIBSON: Has anybody in Aruba leveled these questions to the father?

KELLY: I don't know. I would hope so or I would -

GUILFOYLE: Do you believe they have to?

KELLY: Propose right here now that if they questioned him that he could clear up the air by doing something like that.

GUILFOYLE: Isn't it about high time that they actually bring him in for some questioning and talk to him about this?

KELLY: I would like for them to have another conversation with him. If they haven't by now, I hope they would.

GIBSON: Why wouldn't they?

KELLY: There is no reason they shouldn't, John.

GIBSON: I mean is it because he's a judge, or was a judge in training there? Is he getting preferential treatment, not being questioned because he is sort of an insider in the system?

KELLY: Well, it turns out that there a lot of accounts that the day after Natalee disappeared, right after Joran was questioned, he had law enforcement officers who interviewed Joran asking about whether Natalee had seizures or was prone to them. So they obviously knew something, too, and wanted to protect someone's son or a young man on the island.

GUILFOYLE: Well, it seems like the majority of people in terms of the court of public opinion are convinced that hey, this kid complicit. He had something to do with this. He obviously gave a statement that was incredibly incriminating. So when is the re-arrest? When are we going to be able to see the next action in this case?

KELLY: I don't know. You know, it took them six months to search the sand dunes, as we recall and took them two years to arrest him last time. So they move pretty slowly down there. But I think the evidence is compelling. I think if you compact it and look at the strict circumstantial evidence that we know to be fact, there is plenty to work with there, John and Kimberly.

GIBSON: Well, when it happens, it's going to happen soon, and we will be following it. John Q. Kelly - it's always good to see you, John.

KELLY: Good to see you, John, and Kimberly too.

GIBSON: Thanks very much.

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