The lawyer for a man accused of conspiring to abduct a 20-year-old woman and holding her for ransom says the entire ordeal may have been fabricated for publicity, and that authorities could have been totally hoodwinked.
Chloe, 20, has claimed she was duped into travelling to Milan, Italy for a photoshoot in July, but was instead attacked by two men, drugged, forced into the boot of a auto and told she would be sold into the sex trade.
Michal Herba, 36, appeared at Westminster magistrates’ court yesterday to fight extradition to Italy, where he is wanted for questioning over his alleged role in the kidnapping.
Lukasz Pawel Herba (pictured) and his brother Michael are accused of kidnapping Ms Ayling and holding her for ransom.
He added that he had no reason to believe Herba would not receive a fair trial in Italy, and that the London court was not the place where evidence over Herba’s involvement should be directly assessed. Herba returned Ayling to the British Embassay and was arrested.
“The allegation is that Mr. Herba acted in complicity with his brother, Lukasz Herba, and other unidentified persons to kidnap the victim in Milan”, said prosecutor Florence Iveson, per the BBC.
Chloe Ayling from London, made worldwide headlines in August when she said that she had been drugged, stuffed into suitcase and detained by criminals in Italy, who planned to sell her into sex slavery unless her agent paid a 300,000 euro (Dh1.3m) ransom.
‘Prior to the release of the complainant, the kidnapper apparently issued a press release to a tabloid newspaper setting out that this lady was being held for auction‘.
Scott also referred to an alleged trip made by Ayling and one of her captors to a shoe shop, something he described as a “wholly anomalous feature of a hostage situation“.
During the hearing, Herba, wearing a blue sweater and mauve tracksuit bottoms, limped to the witness box to be questioned over claims that he has a heavily pregnant girlfriend in the UK.
Chloe Ayling said she was stuffed in a suitcase after allegedly being abducted. The Independent reports that Goldspring is scheduled to make a ruling on Friday.
District Judge Paul Goldspring said much of the material relied on by Mr Scott came from press reports, which he said did not prove any of the theories in the case.