Source AP ©

Russia extradites kidnapper to Germany

A man charged with kidnapping a Russian student and holding him hostage in Berlin for 12 days last year to Germany was extradited from Russia, authorities said.

The 40-year-old, identified only as Ihar M., is the main suspect in the August 2006 kidnapping of Vadim Freinkman, then 20, who has long lived in Germany and also holds Israeli citizenship.

The suspect was arrested in Moscow in January and has been flown to Berlin, said Michael Grunwald, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors. He is accused of kidnapping Freinkman and demanding nearly EUR1 million (US$1.45 million) in ransom from his family.

German authorities hope to try him along with three suspected accomplices at a Berlin court, but no date has yet been set.

Freinkman told police after his release that he had been kidnapped by two people at his Berlin home. He said the kidnappers demanded ransom from his family and threatened to kill the student, whose mother lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, if they failed to pay.

Freinkman was released in a Berlin suburb after his relatives - following instructions from the kidnappers - left the ransom money in cash in a village outside the German capital.