This is a rush transcript from "America's News HQ," November 20, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JON SCOTT, HOST: A FOX News exclusive now: Joran Van der Sloot, the prime suspect in Natalee Holloway's disappearance, making news once again. Allegations of his involvement in some kind of a Thai sex trafficking ring.
Well, now there are reports of a witness in the case, Joran's legal team hadn't commented on those claims until now. Joran Van der Sloot's attorney, Joe Tacopina is joining us. You say, this is all much ado about nothing?
JOE TACOPINA, JORAN VAN DER SLOOT'S ATTORNEY: You know, I really had nothing to say about any of this, Jon, up until today when I received a press release from the Aruban prosecutors, who have certainly not been friends of Joran, or the defense team for that, matter, in this investigation.
And what they have basically said is, it's more of the same. They basically have put out a press release saying there is a lot of stories going on, a lot of releases about new witnesses coming forward of value in this case. New allegations of another covert operation by this Dutch reporter, who seems to be making a living off of Joran; and really what they say in this press release, as I just showed you, is that it is much ado about nothing.
There have been no further leads of any value regarding the Natalee Holloway investigation. And really that is all I care to speak about. That is what I represent Joran on.
SCOTT: So you're take is that this is not a new witness. This is a witness who gave a statement to police, apparently sometime ago, and the story is just coming out now?
TACOPINA: I honestly don't know who these witnesses are. There have been plenty of witnesses, Jon, that have come forward in this case that have later proved to be either, you know, absolutely insane or just absolutely incredible. The prosecutors claim that this is not a new witness, the witness that we have heard about in the last week or so. That they have investigated the statement of that witness and to quote the prosecutor, it does not give the police further leads to investigate nor does it help in solving the case. And help is a very low standard. So if this statement doesn't help in solving the case, clearly it is not of any evidentiary value.
SCOTT: Where is Joran right now?
TACOPINA: Yes, you know, he's been tracked, I think in Thailand. He is in a school. He is trying to get on with his life. He is not doing well with it, obviously. He has made a lot of mistakes in the aftermath of this investigation. You know, those things I, quite frankly — you know, I'm not trying to make any excuses for some of his conduct, but it has nothing to do with the Natalee Holloway investigation. He has sort of become a lightning rod for people who want to try and pin things on him. He has given him fodder for that. I mean, they offer him money, you know, to speak, and so those aren't the things that credible journalists do, but anyway —
SCOTT: One of the reporters we were talking to in Aruba the other day, when this story first broke, that there was supposedly this new witness, said that authorities down there only have until next month, December, to charge him or the Natalee Holloway case goes away forever, is that the case?
TACOPINA: It goes away forever until there is new material evidence. I mean, they come up with a videotape of evidence of this crime or if they come up with something substantial, much more substantial than let's to continue to investigate until the cow's come home. They actually have to petition the court, a judge, to be able to reopen it. And there has to be some finality and some closure.
Look, if they come up with some real evidence, not these bits an pieces of things that may not be credible, or may not be truthful, even things coming from Joran's mouth, I mean, they really cannot pursue this. And I think that's all they're saying, because the notion that the Aruban prosecutors don't want to solve this is ludicrous. This has been such a dark cloud over that little island, and certainly that office. They have been mocked and ridiculed and sometimes rightfully so. But the fact of the matter is I think they'd love to solve this as much as anyone.
SCOTT: Well, and you have battled that tape when the Dutch TV show put it out there, the tape that purportedly showed him confessing to have taken her body out to sea, or something like that. If that isn't going to do it, if that isn't going to bring a prosecution or result in charges being brought against him, you must be saying that this latest doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
TACOPINA: Most of this latest stuff has nothing to do with this investigation. It is some new sort of trap they laid for us. Whether he bit or not, I really don't know. I quite frankly don't care. It has nothing to do with the Natalee Holloway case. That last tape, as we talked about, the last time around was proven to be absolutely incredible. And if you looked at the whole tape, not that snippet that they played or sold.
You know, he made five different sorts of statements that were all inconsistent and disprovable. It doesn't excuse his conduct. I'm not here to apologize, or ask for an excuse or understanding of his conduct. But I'm evaluating it as a lawyer, looking at the evidence at how it relates to this investigation, and does it further incriminate, implicate, or help resolve it, and the answer is simply no, John.
SCOTT: All right. Joe Tacopina, thank you.
TACOPINA: Thank you.
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