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Former Russian officer sentenced for part in Kaspersky kidnapping

Ex-Captain in Kremlin guards handed military porridge

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A former captain in the Russian Federal Security Guard Service* has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison after he was convicted of involvement in the kidnapping Ivan Kaspersky, son of Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene, the Moscow Times reports.

Ivan Kaspersky was kidnapped in Moscow April 2011 by a gang who attempted to extort €3m from his parents for his safe return. The plot failed and the then 20 year-old student was recovered five days later without any bloodshed, following a police operation.

Alexei Ustimchuk was arrested along with his alleged partners but tried separately in a military court where he pleaded guilty to preparing the kidnap, buying three cars and numerous mobile phones to set up the failed operation. Pravda adds that defence lawyers argued Ustimchuk did not know the target of the intended kidnapping and supposedly thought it was an attempt to intimidate a debtor. Nonetheless he pleaded guilty to abduction and extortion.

Other suspects in the case are yet to stand trial. ®

Bootnote

*The organisation which provides bodyguards and other security for the Russian President and other high-ranking officials, as well as guard troops for important locations such as the Kremlin. In Soviet times it was part of the KGB.

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