Alleged kidnapping of British model Chloe Ayling a 'sham', lawyer claims

  • 26/09/2017

The lawyer for a Polish-born man, accused of being part of a plot to kidnap a British model in Italy, told a London court on Monday there were grounds to suspect the case was a sham.

Chloe Ayling, 20, has told Italian police she was held captive for six days in July after being lured to a photoshoot in Milan where she was abducted.

Her lawyer said the plot was to sell the model for sex in an online auction unless a ransom was paid.

In August, Italian police arrested the alleged kidnapper, Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30, and subsequently British police detained his brother Michal in central England on behalf of the Italian authorities.

Michal Herba, 36, is fighting extradition to Italy and his lawyer George Hepburne Scott told a London court that the Italian authorities had failed to provide any details of what Herba is accused of having done.

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that the entire case is a sham," Hepburne Scott said.

"There are a unique set of anomalous circumstances that may lead to the conclusion that the Italian authorities have been duped... [and that] their process had been abused."

At the last hearing in August, Florence Iveson, the prosecutor acting on behalf of the Italian authorities, said the two brothers were accused of abducting, kidnapping and detaining Ms Ayling between July 11 and 17 and demanding a ransom of €300,000.

Since her return to Britain, Ms Ayling has given a number of TV and press interviews in which she said she was drugged, gagged, bound, stuffed into a bag, put into the boot of a car and driven to a village near Turin in northwest Italy.

She denied suggestions the case was a hoax, after it was reported in the media she had gone shopping with her alleged abductor.

The case continues with a judgement on the extradition likely on Friday.