Man accused of kidnapping British model maintains innocence
The Polish man accused of kidnapping British model Chloe Ayling maintained during the first day of his trial that he’s innocent and that Ayling was actually in on the plot.
The trial of Lukasz Herba opened in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday but the hearing ended quickly after a judge denied a motion by Herba’s attorney asking Ayling to testify in open court.
Ayling’s lawyer claimed the 20-year-old model does not want to face her kidnapper and told the judge that her testimony will be submitted before proceedings continue in February.
Herba, 30, was slammed with kidnapping charges in July after police said he and his brother lured Ayling to Milan with the promise of a modeling job. When Ayling showed up, the Herbas allegedly zipped her up in a canvas bag and took her to a farmhouse in the Italian countryside, where they held her for six days.
CCTV images show Michal Herba, dressed in red, walking with his brother Lukasz Herba in Milan, Italy.
(Polizia di Stato)
Herba released Ayling after demanding $355,000 from her agent.
But the Polish citizen claims the whole matter was one big spoof.
“He says the kidnap was a fabrication,” Herba’s lawyer told the Mirror on Wednesday. “They planned it together so she would become famous.”
Italian investigators have refuted that claim as bizarre and unfounded.