Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, was beaten in a Peruvian prison over the weekend, according to his lawyer, who is requesting better security for his client.
Van der Sloot, 36, is imprisoned at Challapalca Maximum Security Prison in Lima, Peru. He’s scheduled to be extradited to the U.S. in connection with Holloway’s 2005 disappearance during a high school senior trip in Aruba.
While never charged with the disappearance of Holloway, van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen, has been accused of taking $25,000 in down payments from her family for the false location of her remains. He’s also been accused of extortion and wire fraud in the Northern District of Alabama.
Van der Sloot was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a Peruvian court for killing Stephany Flores in Lima in 2010 – exactly five years after the disappearance of Holloway.
In a complaint filed Monday, Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Maximo Altez, requested that his client was involved in an altercation over the weekend with another inmate and requested he be moved to a separate wing of the prison.
“Given Joran Van der Sloot’s public profile, there is legitimate concern regarding his safety inside the prison,” Altez wrote. “It is necessary to ensure that he is not a victim of violence, assaults or any form of abuse by other inmates.”
“It is essential to remember that all people, regardless of their background or crimes committed, they have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. The rehabilitation and reintegration into society are important objectives of the system prison, and providing a safe and secure environment is critical to achieving these ends.”
Other officials, including from Interpol, say van der Sloot’s alleged beating has not been confirmed and have urged skepticism until all the facts are known.
Earlier this month, the Peruvian government said it would allow van der Sloot to be extradited to the United States. An Interpol official previously told Fox News Digital the extradition shouldn’t happen later than June 8 or June 9.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.