Under an agreement signed Thursday, Dutch murder suspect Joran van der Sloot could serve part of his sentence in the Netherlands if he is convicted of murdering a Peruvian student nearly a year ago.

The foreign ministers of the two countries agreed that Dutch prisoners in Peru and Peruvians jailed in the Netherlands can apply to complete their prison terms in their homeland once their appeal process has been completed.

Peruvian prisons now hold 117 Dutch citizens, mostly serving time for drugs offenses. It was not immediately clear how many Peruvians are in Dutch jails.

Van der Sloot is awaiting trial on a first degree murder charge in the slaying of 21-year-old student Stephany Flores on May 30.

Van der Sloot, 24, also is a key suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

Flores was killed five years to the day after Holloway disappeared. Her body was found in Van der Sloot's Lima hotel room, and a coroner's report said she had been bludgeoned and asphyxiated.

Under the accord, if a prisoner received a longer sentence in Peru than the maximum under Dutch law, the sentence would be reduced, the Dutch ministry said. But each country has the right to deny the prisoner's transfer request.

The deal signed must be approved by both countries' parliaments.