(Reuters) - The lawyer of convicted killer Joran van der Sloot said on Monday that the Dutch citizen had been stabbed repeatedly in a Peruvian prison in recent days, but local penitentiary authorities deny the attacks took place.
Van der Sloot, the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway, was stabbed three times on Oct. 27 and then again in his kidney on Sunday in the Challapalca prison, his lawyer Maximo Altez told Reuters by telephone, without giving further details.
But the head of Peru's penitentiary system, INPE, dismissed the charge as false and said the prisoner's wife, who made the allegations, fabricated the story, according to local media.
"Absolutely nothing has happened to him, that woman is lying," INPE head Jose Luis Perez was quoted as saying in the local newspaper, La Republica.
A spokeswoman for INPE confirmed to Reuters that authorities are denying the claims.
Van der Sloot was given a 28-year sentence after he confessed to strangling, beating and suffocating 21-year-old Peruvian business student Stephany Flores after meeting her in a casino in 2010. He was sentenced in early 2012.He is also suspected of killing Holloway, who vanished during a high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005 and was last seen with him and another man.
The body of the Alabama student, who was aged 18 at the time of her disappearance, has never been found. Van der Sloot has denied involvement.
Peru has said it will extradite van der Sloot to the United States for questioning about the Holloway case, but only after he finishes his jail term.
Van der Sloot married Peruvian citizen Leidy Figueroa, with whom he has a child, at a prison in July.
(Reporting by Enrique Mandujano, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Alan Crosby)