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MOSCOW, December 11 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Khoroshevsky court on December 25 will review, on the merits, the criminal case over the abduction of Ivan Kaspersky, son of a well-known anti-virus software designer, an official the Prosecutor General's Office /PGO/ told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
Two of the four suspects are ready to plead partially guilty. The fifth has already been sentenced to 4.5 years in jail.
Earlier on Tuesday, Judge Nikolai Anisimov chaired a preliminary hearing. He turned down the petition by the defendants' lawyers to return the case to prosecutors for eliminating procedural errors. "The indictment contains a number of violations which the defense believes prevent the review of the case," lawyer Inna Tikhomirova told reporters without elaborating.
The lawyer said that Oleg Mayukov and Semyon Gromov had admitted partial guilt.
"Nikolai Savelyev, 63, his son Nikolai, 31 Sergei Gromov, 30 and Oleg Mayukov, 31, are accused of extortion, committed by a group in collusion using violence, with the view of coming in possession of property in especially large amount," SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Tass earlier.
The suspects made their plans after watching a TV program about the father of the injured party, head of the Kaspersky Lab company, as they assumed he had much money, Markin said.
The kidnapping plans were made not later than March 2011, and the group intended to demand a 3-million-euro ransom. They purchased dozens of mobile phones and three cars.
"After analyzing available information, they chose the neighborhood near the Strogino subway as the best place for abduction. They kidnapped the young man on April 19, 2011 at approximately 08:30, Moscow time. Gromov and Mayukov overpowered Ivan Kaspersky as he was going to work, forced him into their car, blindfolded and handcuffed him, whereupon they brought him to a gardening society near the town of Sergiyev Posad, Moscow region, where he was kept until police set him free on April 24. The car in which the abductors escaped from the scene was driven by Alexei Ustimchuk, a 30-year-old secret service employee.
All the suspects are unemployed. Two of them have criminal records. Sergei Gromov, who was detained when he was guarding Ivan Kaspersky, 20, in the Moscow region, had three convictions for battery, while head of the Savelyev family - Nikolai - had a conviction for fraud in the 1970s.
The Savelyevs and Ustimchuk were detained at a road police post when they were on their way to Moscow to meet with the parents of the kidnapped young man. They had a data medium on them as proof that Ivan Kaspersky had not been hurt.
Alexei Ustimchuk signed a plea bargain agreement and on August 30, the military court of garrison # 94 sentenced him to 4.5 years in a maximum security penitentiary.
The SK said the version that the kidnapping had been masterminded by a Eugine Kaspersky rival had not been substantiated.