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Peru investigates van der Sloot prison picture

By the CNN Wire Staff
Joran van der Sloot (right) is shown posing in a Peruvian prison with two other suspects in high-profile killings: William Trickett Smith II (left) and Hugo Trujillo Ospina (third from left). The fourth person was not identified.
Joran van der Sloot (right) is shown posing in a Peruvian prison with two other suspects in high-profile killings: William Trickett Smith II (left) and Hugo Trujillo Ospina (third from left). The fourth person was not identified.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Joran van der Sloot poses with fellow inmates in Peru jail photo
  • Prison officials say his jailers face disciplinary action over the photo
  • Van der Sloot was a suspect in the unsolved disappearance of Natalee Holloway
  • He is now charged with killing a woman in his Lima hotel room in May

(CNN) -- Authorities in Peru said Tuesday they have begun disciplinary action against jailers who photographed suspected killer Joran van der Sloot posing with two other men held in connection with high-profile killings there.

The photograph, first aired by the Peruvian television network America TV, shows the 22-year-old van der Sloot standing alongside fellow inmates Hugo Trujillo Ospina and William Trickett Smith II. A fourth man in the picture is not identified.

Peru's National Institute of Corrections said Tuesday that disciplinary action was in the works over the photo.

"On August 23, the Office of Internal Affairs of the institution began administrative and disciplinary actions with the goal of establishing responsibility over the acts of official misconduct by employees of the Castro Castro Correctional Institution," the agency announced. "They improperly used photographic equipment that was meant for administrative duties."

Van der Sloot faces a murder charge in the death of college student Stephany Flores, who was found dead in his Lima hotel room in May. Police said he confessed to the killing after his arrest, but van der Sloot is asking a court to throw out his statement.

Video: Joran van der Sloot to walk free?
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Authorities say van der Sloot has not received any visits from his family or given any interviews since his arrest.

The 22-year-old Dutch national was a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway on Aruba. He was arrested twice but released both times for lack of evidence.

He has denied involvement and has not been charged in the case, though federal prosecutors in the United States say he tried to extort $250,000 from Holloway's mother in exchange for information about the whereabouts of her daughter's remains.

Ospina, a Colombian, faces trial for murder in the contract killing of Peruvian entrepreneur Myriam Fefer, while Smith is accused of killing his Peruvian wife, dismembering her and stuffing her body in a suitcase that was later found by fishermen offshore.

Ospina, Smith and van der Sloot were being held in a protective custody wing of the Castro Castro prison, away from other inmates, when the photo was taken last week, Peruvian authorities said. Van der Sloot is the only one of the three who is now being held there, they said.

In Session's Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

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