Natalee Holloway's Dad: Aruba Investigators Ignored Another Potential Witness
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," November 19, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: We have a lot tonight because the big topic is Natalee Holloway. Cross your fingers. We might be getting closer to finding out exactly what happened to the American teen on the island of Aruba. We cannot guarantee it, but we do have new and significant details to show you Monday night right here "On the Record," and then you will decide, is this exactly what happened to this teen? Have we broken the story, or is this a wild goose chase?
In the meantime, and coincidental to our timing of our investigation, the Associated Press is reporting something different from what you will see here on Monday, but nonetheless a new development. According to the Associated Press, there is a new witness, a woman who is telling police she communicated with Joran van der Sloot about Natalee's disappearance and that Joran gave her details.
You go to Aruba in moments, but first, on the phone is Natalee Holloway's fat her, Dave Holloway. Good evening, Dave.
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY'S FATHER: Good evening, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Dave, it seems that there are really three major developments. One is what is the Associated Press is reporting about a witness. Another is what we intend to show the viewers on Monday, our investigation that began when we went all the way to Asia last June and we've been working to corroborate different pieces of it and worked on it since. And then you have also -- you've been involved in an investigation, is that right?
HOLLOWAY: That's correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is it that have you uncovered?
HOLLOWAY: We have developed a witness over the last six to eight months, Greta, that initially went to the police. The police kind of blew him off, as they did a lot of other people. But this witness was adamant of what he saw that night, and we brought him to Houston, Texas, about three months ago and gave him a polygraph test and he passed the polygraph.
But basically, what he said was this, that he saw Joran van der Sloot walking down the road, covered in mud from about the waist down, missing a tennis shoe. And about a few minutes later, he came driving by with his father in his red Jeep, headed towards his home.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what was this -- when was this in relation to when Natalee was last seen?
HOLLOWAY: This witness stated that he saw this on the night she disappeared at about 4:00 AM.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, as you'll see on Monday, as the viewers will see, that's not necessarily something that would be inconsistent with the new evidence that we have developed. And we actually -- we have ours on videotape, which is particularly helpful. But in terms of what you have uncovered with this witness, has this witness of yours spoken to Hans Mos, the prosecutor?
HOLLOWAY: He has. He spoke with him probably about four months ago in the presence of Vinda de Sousa, an attorney down there. And of course, many of the people, with the exception of the prosecutor, believes this witness.
VAN SUSTEREN: Hans Mos does not believe this witness?
HOLLOWAY: Hans Mos does not believe the witness. And when the witness gave his statement, it's my understanding that when he got -- when he almost got to the part talking about the judge, Hans Mos made a comment that, what a nice guy he was and all this kind of stuff. And the witness then decided that, "Hey, I've had enough," and ended his statement. And then he came to us, begging us to search this pond that's located near his home.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, the -- who's the judge? You mean -- who do you (INAUDIBLE) the judge?
HOLLOWAY: Paul van der Sloot.
VAN SUSTEREN: Paul van -- who was a judge in training at the time. He's no longer a judge.
VAN SUSTEREN: In fact, he's working. He's in private practice with Joran van der Sloot's lawyer, right?
HOLLOWAY: That's correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Did the -- did -- was there ever any follow-up to see whether or not your witness had information that was truly helpful? Did Hans Mos, even though he didn't believe him -- did he at least assign someone to go out and investigate and look at that pond area?
HOLLOWAY: No, he didn't. You know, we had asked him to. And in fact, we had planned to go excavate the pond ourselves, and these hurricanes came through and one came close to Aruba and filled the pond back up with water. It's still our plan to go back. I think Hans Mos and I discussed, you know, Natalee's not in the pond, but we believe that, you know, he could possibly find a tennis shoe, maybe her driver's license or even some of Natalee's clothing, which would help lead into, you know, the timeline. And also, this witness implicates Paulus van der Sloot. So if that's the case, you know, that needs to be done.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, your theory isn't necessarily inconsistent with some of the stuff that we have uncovered, but I guess I find it sort of curious -- I mean, one of the problems -- I don't know if you saw the show last night, Dave, but I'm very tough on Hans Mos because I offered to meet him halfway, even meet him on a weekend to show him what we have, which is a videotape and other things, and he simply had no interest.
HOLLOWAY: Well, he's -- as a public official, he's got a duty and an obligation to follow up on any and all leads, and he seems to be lacking in that department very severely.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, if he watches our show Monday night, he's going to have a big job in front of him. And I don't know how he can -- I mean, it may turn out to be a wild goose chase, but it also may be turned out to be the absolute truth about what happened to Natalee. And he should at least use his subpoena power to corroborate it or to seek to disprove it and not simply ignore it. Anyway, Dave, thank you, and good luck.
HOLLOWAY: Thank you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the first prosecutor in charge of this case wasn't Hans Mos, it was Karin Janssen. She moved on, and now it is in the hands of Hans Mos. What do we know about Hans Mos? Joining us by phone from Aruba is Jossy Mansur, publisher and managing editor of Diario newspaper.
Jossy, tell me what you know about Hans Mos.
JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, DIARIO: Oh, I know very little about him. What we know is that he came here about a year-and-a-half ago. He worked with Karin Janssen when Karin Janssen was still in charge of the investigation on the prosecutor's side, and then that he began his work here. He's been very open with the media and with everyone else. He used to put out press releases every time, inform us in detail about what he was doing and what was going on. But then, suddenly, everything stopped.
And what we know about him from Holland is that he was a prosecutor in Holland before. We saw some articles in which they describe him as a man that, in some occasions, have used very unorthodox methods to try to get evidence in cases that he investigated. That's as far as our knowledge goes about him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jossy, do you have a theory? You know, we have obtained this evidence and we've spent the last several months trying to prove it or disprove it and what we're -- and do you have a theory why Hans Mos would not at least meet me in Miami, meet me on a weekend to look at it, or why he would not follow up with Dave, Natalee's father, on the witness that they have uncovered and apparently polygraphed? Why is he simply just looking the other way and just refusing to look at anything?
MANSUR: You know, it's very hard to determine with certainty, but it is my belief, it is my personal opinion that he wants to do is just close this case and put it away forever without solving it or anything because he...
VAN SUSTEREN: Why?
MANSUR: Because he's been brushing aside every single witness, every single evidence, every single thing that came up.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what's his motive, though? Most prosecutors want to solve cases. Every prosecutor I've ever spoken to wants to solve cases. At least they will look at evidence and consider it. They don't necessarily have to, you know, buy it, but they investigate it, they look at it, they study it. Why won't he?
MANSUR: He won't because I think that he feels there are upper (ph) hands (ph) above his head that are trying to see this case go away, as well. And we're talking about the people who tried to cover up for the Van Der Sloots.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where is Dompig, who used to be the head of the investigation? Where is he now?
MANSUR: He's in Aruba. He's doing some business on his own. When he left the police corps, he went into the security business on his own and he's still busy with it, I believe.
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if you're going to answer this question, or you're willing to I know you still live there. But is the prosecution hard-working, lazy, corrupt, ambitious? What's your term?
MANSUR: You know, I can live anywhere, even in Aruba. I'll tell you what I think. I think they're not doing anything but just ignoring the facts in this case. In other words, the few facts that have come up as far as evidence and...
VAN SUSTEREN: So is lazy -- is lazy the word?
MANSUR: I don't think it's lazy. I think it's just indifference. They don't really want -- they're not putting everything that they have into this case, no.
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't even know if I would -- you say indifference. You know, it's been served up to them both by Dave Holloway and by us and they simply -- it's even worse than that. But anyway, Jossy, thank you. Hope you'll come back and join us again.
VAN SUSTEREN: And they are back by popular demand. Let's go to your legal panel. Criminal defense attorneys Michael Cardoza, Bernie Grimm and Ted Williams join us. Ted, anything to say?
TED WILLIAMS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I got to tell you, I'm shocked. Investigation 101, Greta, is that every lead must be followed. It may lead to somewhere and it may lead to nowhere, but you follow the leads. And I was taken aback when Dave said they took this kid to Houston, they polygraphed him. So I would have believed that the prosecutor would want to follow up. Or if he doesn't follow up, he would have one of his investigators follow up on it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie, the thing that bothers me is -- I mean, when we were in Aruba in the summer of '05, we used to go out and interview everybody, and the police used to then call us for our interview tapes, which was just -- or try to get our tapes. It was just insane. Go do your own work. But so be it. You know, they wanted the media to do their work then.
The thing that bothers me now is that -- that in the information that we've developed, there are money transactions alleged, and they certainly have the subpoena power, we assume, to at least track them down. They won't even look at the evidence.
BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I guess what's shocking is -- you can't fault them for trying to get your tapes and your records. I mean, that's sort of...
VAN SUSTEREN: They could go get them themselves, though.
GRIMM: They could go get themselves. And you wanted to have this sort of a...
GRIMM: ... Investigation. But now you offered information, possibly evidence, to this guy, to fly down there, meet him halfway. And you gave Jossy some choices. I'll take door number one, which is flat-out not getting off your rear end lazy. This is just shocking...
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually think that's the nice thing because I -- you know, I...
GRIMM: Yes, lazy is -- lazy is an easy way out. There's words that I can't use, even on FOX, to describe this. And I'll turn it over to Michael and see what he thinks.
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I'll tell you what. There's a hubris that a lot of district attorneys develop that they are tantamount to a human lie-detector. And I think that's what's happened to Mr. Mos. He thinks he has the answers here, and that's there's not enough evidence. He's not going to look at anything else. And therefore, he won't talk to you. He won't believe the information about the lie-detector. But parenthetically, keep in mind lie-detectors are not infallible, so the fact that that one witness passed a lie-detector doesn't mean that he couldn't be wrong. He may well believe what he's saying and pass the lie- detector...
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't disagree with -- I don't disagree...
CARDOZA: ... But he could be...
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, I'm not even married to all the evidence that we've uncovered, but the thing is...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... You've got to go out and corroborate it. That's the point. You don't simply ignore it.
CARDOZA: But they...
VAN SUSTEREN: That's my...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... With the prosecutor.
CARDOZA: No question. But Bernie addressed this last night. He talked about the statement of Joran van der Sloot and he said it needed corroboration, and Bernie's 100 percent right. But they have other witnesses, and as you just said, they should be going out to corroborate what he said on that tape. And notwithstanding all this, I think Mr. Mos would be better -- take this to trial, put it before judges, let them decide wherein the truth in this case is...
WILLIAMS: But Greta...
VAN SUSTEREN: You know -- but...
CARDOZA: ... Then people will get off your back.
VAN SUSTEREN: One of the worst things a prosecutor could do is to jump to conclusions, come up with a theory and then go out -- and then decide that that's the theory without getting the evidence to support it. Likewise, though, is to fail -- to fail to investigate when you have things presented.
WILLIAMS: Greta, look, let's just use common sense and talk about what's happening here. They want this case to go away at all costs. They don't want to do anything. They're not doing anything and they're just hoping that it will go away. And that's what's going on here.
GRIMM: It's frightening. It's almost the opposite of Michael Nifong, which is acts of commission that were unethical. These are complete acts of omission.
VAN SUSTEREN: They won't even consider. They won't even look at anything. But anyway...
WILLIAMS: Sad. Sad.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... We'll see -- we'll continue...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... To pound away at this. Panel, thank you.
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