Joran van der Sloot pleaded not guilty to extortion and wire fraud charges in a Jefferson County court Friday.
Van der Sloot, the suspect in the death of Mountain Brook teen Natalee Holloway in 2005, is already serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for the unrelated murder of Stephany Flores.
He was extradited to the United States to face charges after prosecutors said he took $25,000 from Holloway's family in exchange for information leading to her body. Beth Holloway, Natalee's mother, was in the courtroom Friday when the 35-year-old van der Sloot made his first court appearance.
"For 18 years, I have lived with the unbearable pain of Natalee's loss," she said in a statement Thursday. "Each day has been filled with unanswered questions and a longing for justice that has eluded us at every turn. But today ... I am hopeful that some small semblance of justice may finally be realized."
Van der Sloot, a Dutch native, declined to use an interpreter at his arraignment.
The time that van der Sloot ends up spending in the United States "will be extended until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings," including the appeal process, should there be one, according to a resolution published in Peru's federal register.
Natalee Holloway was on a senior trip to Aruba when she disappeared on May 30, 2005. She has since been declared dead, but the body of the 18-year-old was never found.
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