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Brothers to be freed in Natalee Holloway case

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: The decision is "a bit of a setback," Aruba's chief public prosecutor says
  • NEW: Deepak Kalpoe's attorney: Client is "really happy to recover his freedom"
  • Prosecutors have three days to appeal the decision
  • A third man, Joran van der Sloot, is still being held in the case
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ORANJESTAD, Aruba (CNN) -- Two of the suspects being held in connection with Natalee Holloway's presumed death will be released from custody by Saturday.

Prosecutors wanted Deepak and Satish Kalpoe held in Aruba for another eight days, but a judge rejected their request Friday.

The decision was "a bit of a setback," said Hans Mos, Aruba's chief public prosecutor. But it does not change his plan to decide by the end of the year whether to prosecute anyone in the Holloway case.

"We had hoped for a longer period to confront these suspects with the material we have against them, but this is the way the law says it must go," Mos said. Video Watch the prosecutor's reaction »

Holloway's parents are expected to meet with Mos on Saturday. The prosecutor said he will explain to them what happened, "if I can explain it. I hope I can."

Deepak Kalpoe's defense attorney, meanwhile, said his client is "really happy to recover his freedom after 10 days in jail."

Prosecutors have three days to appeal the decision and will decide Monday whether or not to do so.

A third man, Joran van der Sloot, is still being held in the case. Van der Sloot is set to appear before a judge December 7, and prosecutors have said they are considering requesting that he be detained another 60 days.

The Kalpoe brothers were previously jailed in the case, but were rearrested last week and charged with being involved in the "voluntary manslaughter" of Holloway.

The judge reasoned Friday that "the new evidence, together with the existing evidence in this case, produce serious grounds for the suspicion of some kind of aiding and abetting, of covering up the traces of a crime committed or of the disposing of a corpse," prosecutors said.

But people accused of those crimes do not qualify for pretrial detention under Aruban law, Mos told reporters. He noted that on Monday, the same judge approved van der Sloot's continuing detention based on the same evidence.

"Apparently, the judge sees a difference between the third suspect and these two suspects," Mos said, since the judge concluded the evidence against the Kalpoes was not strong enough to warrant their continued detention.

When the arrests took place November 21, prosecutors said they had new incriminating evidence against the three men.

They were the last people seen with Holloway, 18, as she left an Oranjestad nightclub on May 30, 2005. She was on a trip to Aruba with about 100 classmates celebrating their graduation from Mountain Brook High School in suburban Birmingham, Alabama. See a timeline of the case »

The three have maintained their innocence in her disappearance.

The Kalpoes have told police they dropped Holloway and van der Sloot off near a lighthouse on the northern tip of the island after they left the nightclub. Van der Sloot's mother, Anita, has said her son told her he was on the beach with Holloway but left her there because she wanted to stay.

Mos has told CNN he believes authorities have enough evidence to prove Holloway is dead, even if her body is never found. He has suggested her death was an accident.

The new evidence against the three men was gathered from advanced techniques used to re-examine existing information, including cell phone records and text messages exchanged the night Holloway disappeared, Mos has said.

Investigators also returned to the homes of the suspects to try to re-create transmissions. The team also discovered that some existing evidence was improperly analyzed.


Defense attorneys for the Kalpoes and van der Sloot have said the prosecutors' evidence is flimsy. "To say it's less than nothing is too much," van der Sloot's lawyer, Ariean de Bie, told CNN.

In Aruba, authorities can make an arrest if they have reasonable suspicion that someone knows about or is involved in a crime. Magistrates investigate cases, and judges determine a suspect's guilt or innocence. There are no jury trials. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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