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'We didn't abduct wealthy Swede': accused couple

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'We didn't abduct wealthy Swede': accused couple
12:35 CEST+02:00
When the trial against the trio suspected of abducting a 25-year old son of a millionaire businessman came under way on Thursday, one of the suspects admitted his involvement while two denied all charges.

The 25-year-old Uppsala student went missing from his home in late December and was taken to a derelict house in the county of Västerbotten in northern Sweden, where he was found by police eight days later.

Police soon started to suspect three individuals who had been seen in the neighbourhood, and apprehended two of them after some items belonging to the missing man were found in their car.

The third man was brought in shortly after.

According to the prosecutor, the suspected trio's intent was to blackmail the man's wealthy family.

According to news agency TT, the three suspects looked calm and collected at the start of the proceedings on Thursday even if the woman seemed to be struck by the seriousness of her situation as the trial opened.

The prosecutor began by stating the charges; how the woman allegedly sedated the man by drugging his food at her Uppsala flat, how both the men then threatened the victim and took him to the house in northern Sweden where he was later kept for a week.

The 26-year-old man has admitted to the charges but is of the opinion that his part in the scheme should be viewed as less serious, according to his lawyer.

The other man denies all charges, as does the woman.

She has admitted to letting the men into the apartment, but says she was unaware of the reason they came.

According to the prosecutor, however, the kidnapping had been meticulously planned, but several mistakes had been made, like leaving an extensive body of evidence behind.

Several written notes which are said to be part of the planning process of the deed were found in the woman's boyfriend's flat in Gothenburg.

These included notes in the woman's handwriting on what countries would be appropriate to place the money in, budgeting for a rental vehicle, petrol and other expenses, as well as a "mind-map" headed “what could go wrong”.

The prosecutor also stressed that the notes referred to the 25-year-old victim's nickname since May. There is also a list of equipment including chloroform, duct tape, and a tazer.

There are two plaintiffs in the case against the trio; the kidnapped 25-year-old and another man who, according to the prosecutor, had been threatened and blackmailed in connection to the sale of a flat.

Neither plaintiff was present in court on Thursday.

Ylva Orrenius, one of the lawyers representing the abducted 25-year-old, told news agency TT that the prosecutor's case seemed strong. Her client will take the stand on Tuesday.

“The trial is distressing to him, but he is also relieved that it is underway,” she told TT, adding that her client was ready to face the suspected kidnappers in the court.

TT/The Local/rm

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