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Suspect in Holloway case to be released

Attorney: Casino worker indicted on murder charge last week

Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway disappeared in May 2005 during a high school graduation trip to Aruba.


Crime, Law and Justice

(CNN) -- A man indicted in the Netherlands on murder charges in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba will be released Tuesday but must remain available for questioning, the man's attorney said.

Guido Wever, 19, was to appear in court Tuesday in the Netherlands, an assistant to attorney Gerard Spong said, but an agreement reached between Spong and Aruban prosecutor Karen Janssen negated that hearing.

Under the conditions of the deal, Wever remains a suspect in Holloway's disappearance.

Earlier, Spong told the Dutch television network NOS his client was charged last Wednesday with murder and manslaughter, "and he is being questioned every day."

Spong said Wever was interviewed as a witness in June, days after Holloway disappeared on Aruba, a self-governing Dutch protectorate in the Caribbean off the Venezuelan coast.

"He is now a suspect, and the prosecution in Aruba is wanting him very quickly," the lawyer said.

Spong said he would ask the court in The Hague, seat of government of the Netherlands, to allow Wever to remain in the Netherlands "because I think that we can prove or make sure that he is not guilty."

If Wever, a casino worker on the island, is ordered by the court to be sent to Aruba, it would not be considered an extradition since Aruba is a Dutch territory.

Spong said "some witnesses" have identified Wever as a suspect, "but I think their statements -- their testimonies -- we can fight it easily."

Wever never met Holloway, Spong said. "He claims that he has never seen her, and he claims that he is completely innocent."

In a written statement, Wever's parents said they were "appalled" about their son's indictment.

Wever's parents described themselves as divorced but "very good friends," and said they "cannot believe that he could have anything to do with the case."

They said they hoped "the girl" will be found alive, and predicted "everything will come out all right" for their son, whom they described as "a caring person and very much liked by all others."

Though "justice should be done," they said, "we are all innocent until proven guilty. This counts also for our son."

The parents vowed to hold the news media accountable for any statements made about their son without proof.

"We respect freedom of opinion and freedom of press, but not at our personal expense," they said, adding they would not talk to the news media.

Wever is an acquaintance of Joran van der Sloot, who was once a focus of the investigation into Holloway's 2005 disappearance, a source close to the case told CNN.

Dutch authorities have cooperated with Aruba in the ongoing investigation.

Janssen, the chief prosecutor in Aruba, declined comment on the arrest, but is expected to speak to reporters Tuesday.

Under Dutch law, police can hold a suspect for more than 100 days before filing charges.

Wever's arrest is the 10th made in connection with the Holloway investigation. All others held, including van der Sloot, have been released.

Holloway -- from the Birmingham, Alabama, suburb of Mountain Brook -- was celebrating her high school graduation with about 100 classmates and several parent chaperones on Aruba when she disappeared May 30, 2005.

A search of the tiny island by Dutch marines, the FBI and hundreds of volunteers failed to find her.

Holloway, 18, was last seen leaving a nightclub in the Aruba capital, Oranjestad, with three men -- van der Sloot, then 17, a Dutch national who is the son of an Aruban judge, and Surinamese brothers Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18.

The three -- who have maintained their innocence -- were arrested the following month but were released after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold them.

In February, Holloway's parents, Dave Holloway and Beth Twitty, filed a lawsuit against van der Sloot.

In court documents, the parents accuse him of "malicious, wanton and willful disregard of the rights, safety and well-being of the plaintiffs and their daughter, Natalee Holloway."

The parents asked for unspecified punitive damages from the young man and his father.

CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

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