Pole fights extradition to Italy in UK model 'kidnap' case

AFP - [email protected]
Pole fights extradition to Italy in UK model 'kidnap' case
British model Chloe Ayling. Photo: Facebook.

A London judge ruled Friday that a Polish man suspected of playing a role in the alleged kidnap of a British model in Milan could be extradited to Italy.


In a case that has drawn worldwide attention, Chloe Ayling, a 20-year-old mother, says she was drugged and kidnapped in July after being lured to Milan on the false promise of attending a fashion shoot.

She says she was taken to a remote mountain village where she was kept for almost a week before Herba drove her back to Milan and released her near the British consulate.

She claims she was told she had been kidnapped by an organised gang and would be auctioned off online as a sex slave.

Defendant Michal Herba's challenges to his extradition were dismissed by judge Paul Goldspring in his ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court.

The judge said it was not for an extradition court but for the Italian authorities to determine whether the entire case was a sham or a publicity stunt for the model -- the scenario suggested in press reports supplied to the court by Herba's representatives.

Herba's lawyer said he would appeal to the High Court on Monday, a process that could take several months to reach a conclusion. Herba, 36, will remain in custody.

The suspect's brother, Lukasz Herba, 30, was arrested in Italy last month on allegations of abduction and illegal imprisonment. He was subsequently charged and is in custody awaiting trial.

Lukasz Herba has said he has not knowingly taken part in any crime.

In court documents released by Goldspring on Wednesday, Michal Herba, who moved to Britain in 2011 and works as a driver, said he drove to Milan from Poland to meet his brother on July 10th.

"I also met Chloe Ayling who was free, chilled and relaxed. She seemed to be an attention-seeker," he said.

Herba said he went back to Poland the following day, returning to Britain on July 15, only finding out about the kidnapping from news reports.

He added: "The entire thing seems to be a scam. If I did something illegal I would not return to England."

Herba's lawyer George Hepburne Scott said the Italian authorities had refused his client's offer to answer any questions via video link.

He said the case was filled with "riddle and mystery".

He told AFP that the Italian authorities "haven't actually set out any evidence at all about what specifically Michal Herba is alleged to have done", which will form the grounds of his High Court appeal.

"It would appear from that, that Chloe Ayling hasn't given any specific evidence against Michal Herba at all."

He added: "My client is adamantly innocent of all these matters."

READ ALSO: Police in the UK arrest suspect in Italy model kidnap



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