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Prosecutor: Crime reporter's info may help Holloway case

  • Story Highlights
  • Dutch crime reporter interviewed Joran Van der Sloot, a former suspect
  • The prosecutor's office would not explain what new info it has from reporter
  • Van der Sloot threw a glass of wine in reporter's face after the interview
  • He, two others suspected in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway
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(CNN) -- The office of Aruba's public prosecutor said Thursday it has "intensified" its investigation of the case of Natalee Holloway after receiving information from a Dutch crime reporter.

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Natalee Holloway disappeared while on vacation in Aruba with classmates in 2005.

"This information may shed a new light on the mode of which Natalee Holloway has died and the method by which her body disappeared," the prosecutor's office said in a brief news release.

"The public prosecutor has lately received this information from the Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries. This information may help considerably in the solution of the mystery of Natalee's disappearance," it said.

The statement did not say what that new information was.

De Vries is a Dutch television journalist who earlier this month did an interview on the "Pauw & Witteman" show on Dutch public broadcaster NPS with Joran Van der Sloot, one of three former suspects in the teen's disappearance. After the interview, Van der Sloot threw a glass of wine in the reporter's face.Video Watch Van der Sloot toss wine in the journalist's face »

Van der Sloot and his mother later apologized to De Vries, the journalist told the syndicated news program "Inside Edition."

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Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Van der Sloot, said Thursday that the prosecutor's office "should stop issuing press releases that say nothing."

They should "work on the investigation, come to a conclusion based on evidence, and then either bring a case or announce their findings," he said in an e-mail.

"We have been down this road before, where they say they have new evidence ... but claim they won't go into details (and) then it turns out that they have nothing."

Tacopina was referring to evidence the prosecutor's office announced it had in November 2007, and used to re-arrest Van der Sloot along with brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe.

However, judges ruled that the new evidence -- which included a May 30, 2005, Internet chat that showed one of the three saying Holloway was dead -- was not enough to keep the suspects behind bars.

That chat, along with others, was obtained using technology that was not available to authorities in 2005, Aruban prosecutor Hans Mos told CNN in December. Other evidence against the three included two new witness statements.

One was from a female friend who said a suspect called her about five hours after Holloway was last seen leaving an Oranjestad, Aruba, nightclub with Van der Sloot and the Kalpoes. The female friend said that she could tell during the conversation that something was wrong, Mos said. He did not elaborate or name the friend.

The second witness statement came from a teacher who said that another one of the suspects exhibited "very peculiar behavior" the day after Holloway's disappearance, including making or receiving a lot of telephone calls, Mos said.

A fourth piece of evidence came when authorities bugged the Kalpoe home in June and picked up a conversation about what happened the night Holloway disappeared, he said. Mos did not elaborate.

Holloway, 18, disappeared while visiting Aruba with about 100 classmates celebrating their graduation from Mountain Brook High School in suburban Birmingham, Alabama, and was last seen leaving the nightclub with the three youths. She failed to show up for her flight home the following day, and her packed bags were found in her hotel room.

All three suspects were arrested and released in the case in 2005. They were re-arrested last November 21, with authorities citing the new and incriminating evidence against them.

In freeing the Kalpoes from jail November 30, judges from Aruba's Court of Appeal wrote that there was no evidence Holloway died as a result of a violent crime against her or that the suspects were involved in such a crime. Using similar reasoning, a judge released Van der Sloot a week later.

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After their release, Mos said he would not prosecute them. Under Aruban law, that meant the three could not legally be considered suspects, but Mos said in December that they remained persons of interest.

All three have maintained their innocence in Holloway's disappearance. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

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