Judge de­cides Chloe kid­nap ac­cused should be ex­tra­dited

Daily Express - - NEWS - By David Pilditch

A MAN ac­cused of kid­nap­ping Bri­tish model Chloe Ayling should be ex­tra­dited to Italy to stand trial, a judge ruled yes­ter­day.

Michal Kon­rad Herba, 36, is al­leged to have plot­ted the ab­duc­tion along with his brother Lukasz who is in cus­tody in Milan.

The Pol­ish broth­ers are ac­cused of de­mand­ing a £264,000 ran­som.

Herba is said to have helped his brother drug and abduct Ms Ayling be­fore she was taken from Milan to a vil­lage near Turin and held for six days.

The 20-year-old is said to have been held by a gang op­er­at­ing on the “dark web” after she was lured to a fake photo shoot on July 11.

Herba has claimed the case against him was a public­ity stunt to boost Ms Ayling’s ca­reer.

But yes­ter­day District Judge Paul Gold­spring told West­min­ster mag­is­trates court: “I have de­cided you should be sur­ren­dered to Italy to face trial for the kid­nap.”

Ital­ian po­lice say the broth­ers are part of the Black Death group that claims it sells women as sex slaves to Mid­dle Eastern buy­ers.

Ms Ayling, of Couls­don, south London, claims she was se­dated and bun­dled into the boot of a car then held cap­tive at a farm.

Lukasz Herba was ar­rested after tak­ing Ms Ayling to the Bri­tish em­bassy on July 17.

His brother was de­tained in Sandwell, West Mid­lands, on a Euro­pean ar­rest war­rant is­sued in Italy last month.

Fight­ing the ex­tra­di­tion, his lawyer Ge­orge Hep­burne Scott said: “There is a real risk that the en­tire case is a sham.”

Mr Scott pointed to a “unique set of anom­alies”, in­clud­ing claims Ms Ayling went shop­ping with her cap­tor.

He also high­lighted the model’s string of tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances.

In his rul­ing, the judge said: “Such is­sues are ev­i­den­tial is­sues for the Ital­ian court.” The judge agreed to re­lease pa­pers in­clud­ing a statement made by Herba while be­ing held in Wandsworth prison fight­ing ex­tra­di­tion.

He said he had driven to Milan from Poland to meet his brother on July 10.

Herba added: “I also met Chloe Ayling who was free, chilled and re­laxed. She seemed to be an at­ten­tion seeker.”

He said he went back to Poland the fol­low­ing day be­fore re­turn­ing to the UK on July 15 and only found out about the kid­nap­ping from news­pa­per re­ports.

“The en­tire thing seems to be a scam. If I did some­thing il­le­gal, I would not re­turn to Eng­land to con­tinue work­ing and to live openly,” he added.

Herba’s ex­tra­di­tion is likely to be held up after his lawyers said they will launch an ap­peal.

After the hear­ing, Mr Hep­burne Scott said: “No­body wants the truth to come out more than Michal Herba. He con­tin­ues to protest his in­no­cence in the strong­est pos­si­ble terms.”

Pic­tures: JONATHAN BUCKMASTER

Chloe Ayling says she was held in an Ital­ian farm­house

Michal Herba de­nies kid­nap

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