The Province

Guilty pleas scuttle kidnapping trial

- BY SUSAN LAZARUK STAFF REPORTER

Three men charged with kidnapping the owner of a moving company pleaded guilty yesterday to unlawful confinemen­t in exchange for the dropping of three other charges they faced.

Hugo Filipe Amado, Paul Vaslot and Robert John Davis, all appearing to be in their late 20s or early 30s and well-dressed and groomed, each replied “guilty” to the count in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Outside court, one of them hugged a young woman who was in public gallery. All refused to comment.

A jury trial for the three men was scheduled to begin yesterday before they entered their guilty pleas.

The additional charges of kidnap, extortion and assault were stayed by the Crown in a plea bargain, said Glen Orris, defence lawyer for Amado and Davis.

The three, who remain under house arrest as part of their bail conditions, are scheduled to return to court on June 22 for sentencing, at which time the facts of the case will be made public.

The three were charged with the June 2005 abduction of Guiseppe Bugge, owner of Student Pro Movers, after he was kidnapped in Burnaby. Bugge later showed up at a stranger’s door after the assault, handcuffed in plastic straps and suffering from cuts.

One of Student Pro Movers’ drivers pleaded guilty in Seattle in July 2005 to importing marijuana to the U.S. after border guards seized more than 283 kg of pot from his truck.

slazaruk@png.canwest.com

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