Peru judge sees 6-month Van der Sloot trial

LIMA, Peru (AP) - The chief of the Superior Court for Peru's capital says the murder trial of Joran van der Sloot should take about six months. An independent expert says it actually might take 18.

Van der Sloot is charged with murdering student Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room on May. 30. He also remains the sole suspect in the unresolved 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

Judge Cesar Vega told reporters on Friday that Peruvian laws allow up to six months for murder trial. But legal expert Mario Amoretti tells the Associated Press that in practice, cases like Van der Sloots can last 18 months.

Criminal court attorney Jose Balcazar says the defense is likely to try to draw the trial out.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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