Joran Van Der Sloot Starts Hunger Strike To Protest Harsh Conditions In New Prison

Joran van der Sloot in the courtroom for his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru.

Joran van der Sloot in the courtroom for his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru.  (AP2012)

Joran Van der Sloot, the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway who is serving time in Peru for a different crime, started a hunger strike Tuesday to protest his transfer to a maximum-security prison.

On Saturday, the 27-year-old Dutchman was moved to a remote, icy penitentiary in southern Peru as punishment for allegedly threatening to kill the warden at his previous jail.

According to a report by the BBC, Van der Sloot made the threats after guards confiscated a cell phone he had managed to smuggle into the prison.

In a video he recorded, BBC reports, Van der Sloot said the phone was given to him by the warden as "a set-up".

Van der Sloot, convicted in the 2010 murder of Peruvian student Stephany Flores, has been transferred to the Challapalca Penitentiary located in the Andean department of Puno, which sits at more than 12,500 feet high and where temperatures range between minus 4 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

He married his Peruvian girlfriend in a prison ceremony last month and is set to be a father in September, something his lawyer is using in his plea to reconsider the move.

According to the BBC, prison officials said he could be transferred back to the Lima prison or another prison with better conditions if he exhibits good behavior.

The son of a judge who was serving in Aruba,Van der Sloot was the last person seen with Holloway, who vanished while on a graduation trip to the Caribbean island.

Van der Sloot remains the chief suspect.

Once his sentence ends, he is to be extradited to the United States to face trial on charges he extorted and defrauded Holloway's mother shortly before traveling to Peru in 2010.

He allegedly took $25,000 from the mother, promising to lead her to Holloway's body.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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