ORANJESTAD, Aruba – Two Surinamese brothers held in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager were freed Monday on the orders of a judge, but the 17-year-old son of a top justice official was ordered jailed for 60 more days.
The justice official's son, Joran van der Sloot (search), and Surinamese brothers Deepak Kalpoe (search), 21, and Satish Kalpoe (search), 18, had been held since June 9 on suspicion of murder in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala. The three young men have acknowledged that they were with Holloway the night she disappeared.
Holloway vanished in the early hours of May 30, the last day of a five-day vacation on the Dutch Caribbean island to celebrate her high school graduation with 124 other students.
"The detention of Deepak and Satish K. has not been prolonged," court clerk Isella Wernet said, reading from a prepared statement outside the courthouse. "The suspects are ordered released immediately. The detention of Joran van der S. has been prolonged 60 days beginning today."
Wernet did not explain the reasons for the judge's decision.
An AP photographer saw the Kalpoe brothers leaving the San Nicolas prison accompanied by a lawyer.
"The day finally came," one of Satish Kalpoe's lawyers, David Kock told The Associated Press later. "I've been saying this for a long time: They have no basis to keep my client in detention."
The office of Attorney General Karin Janssen said prosecutors are considering appealing the decision to release the Kalpoes. They have three days to do so.
Contacted by telephone, van der Sloot's father, Paul van der Sloot, said he had no comment on the judge's decision.
Holloway's stepfather, George "Jug" Twitty, said the family decided to cancel a previously planned news conference because "after today, we just need to regroup and think about it all before we say anything."
Under Dutch law that governs Aruba, a protectorate of the Netherlands, detainees can be held 116 days before being charged by a judge. Van der Sloot has still not been charged formally, said his lawyer, Antonio Carlo.
Prosecutors have acknowledged they have no solid evidence that Holloway is dead. They said they could proceed with a criminal case anyway, although it would be difficult.
The judge's decision was announced several hours after van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers were brought to the courthouse in the capital, Oranjestad.
Holloway's mother, her father, and their respective spouses were allowed to wait inside the courthouse, but were prohibited from attending the hearings, a family friend said.
Earlier Monday, attorneys for all three young men reiterated their clients' claims of innocence.
"The further we get, the more it shows my client had nothing to do with any crime," said Deepak Kalpoe's lawyer, Ruud Oomen.
Carlo would not comment on whether investigators had presented any new evidence against his client. But he said a judge did approve a motion allowing attorneys to be present whenever van der Sloot is interrogated. Carlo said previous requests for a lawyer's presence had been denied since the beginning of the case.
The Kalpoe brothers have told police they dropped Holloway and van der Sloot off near the Marriott Hotel in the early morning hours of May 30 and that was the last time they saw her.
Van der Sloot's mother, Anita van der Sloot, said her son told her he was alone with Holloway on a beach but that he did not harm her.
Holloway vanished the same day she was to catch a flight home with the other students celebrating high school graduation. Numerous searches by Dutch marines, Aruban investigators and volunteer rescue groups have failed to turn up any trace of her.