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American held in Aruba disappearance won't go free

By the CNN Wire Staff
October 17, 2011 -- Updated 1657 GMT (0057 HKT)
Robyn Gardner was last seen in August on a beach on the Caribbean Island of Aruba.
Robyn Gardner was last seen in August on a beach on the Caribbean Island of Aruba.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Giordano's request for release from Aruban custody denied
  • He is a suspect in Robyn Gardner's disappearance
  • Authorities say Giordano is the beneficiary of Gardner's $1.5 million insurance policy
  • Giordano's next hearing is scheduled for the end of October

(CNN) -- A man detained in the disappearance of a Maryland woman during a vacation in Aruba will remain behind bars at least until the end of October, Aruban prosecutors said Monday.

Gary Giordano was arrested by Aruban police on August 5, three days after his traveling companion Robyn Gardner was last seen on a beach on the Caribbean Island.

Attorney Michael Lopez went to court Monday morning and asked for Giordano's release.

Lopez argued that authorities do not have enough evidence to continue to hold the 50-year-old Maryland man, but the court did not agree.

"Gary Giordano defense attorney's request for release has been denied," said Ann Angela from the Aruban prosecutor's office. Giordano's next detainment hearing is scheduled for the end of the month, Angela said.

Giordano has maintained that he had been snorkeling with Gardner, when he signaled to her to swim back, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office.

September: Suspect loses appeal

When he reached the beach, Gardner was nowhere to be found, he allegedly said.

He was arrested three days after the incident at the airport in Aruba as he waited for a flight back to the United States. He has been held for more than 70 days.

Authorities say Giordano was the beneficiary of a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy on Gardner, taken out just days before their trip.

On Friday, Giordano hired a new lead defense attorney, Chris Lejuez, who spent two days in lengthy meetings with Giordano at the prison in Aruba where he is confined.

Lejuez said Giordano has never changed his account of what happened. Instead, it is the police who come at Giordano with different theories as to what might have happened, he said.

Even after all of their investigating, authorities "cannot prove that a crime has been committed," Lejuez said.

Lejuez said Giordano is simply trying to "hold it together," and "feels boxed in, accused of something he did not do."

At one point in their conversation, Lejuez said, his client "broke down in tears" of frustration.

Lejuez will be working with Giordano's U.S.-based attorney, Jose Baez.

Lejuez, who has 17 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney on the island, represented two Aruban security guards who were arrested early in the Natalee Holloway case in 2005 and were subsequently released.

The guards had been implicated by Joran van der Sloot, who said he saw a security guard approach Holloway after he dropped her off at her hotel the night she vanished.

Holloway's disappearance remains unsolved. Van der Sloot was arrested but never charged in connection with the disappearance, although he has faced other legal problems since then.

Lejuez bristled at any suggestion of similarity between the Gardner case and the Holloway case.

"You had a suspect that kept changing his story," Lejuez said of van der Sloot. "In this case, (Giordano's) story has been the same."

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