Judge decides Chloe kidnap accused should be extradited
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.”
Chloe Ayling says she was held in an Italian farmhouse
Michal Herba denies kidnap