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Gang 'kidnapped man and demanded ransom from parents'

Bilaal Afzal was allegedly threatened with death and battered with a baseball bat.

Attack: Allegedly struck with baseball bat.
Attack: Allegedly struck with baseball bat.

A gang have been accused of kidnapping and threatening to kill a man in return for a ransom.

Patrick Loyden, 49, Ziarat Ali, 33 and Basharat Khan, 30, are to stand trial for assault, abduction and extortion amid claims Bilaal Afzal was kidnapped.

The trio are said to have attacked him on September 8 and 9 last year.

Locations for the alleged crimes include Edinburgh's Newington and Fountainbridge as well as Newton St Boswells in the Scottish Borders.

Mr Afzal is alleged to have been dragged from a car and forced into the back of another vehicle.

He is said to have been driven to a house and struck repeatedly with a baseball bat.

The assault and abduction charge further alleges Mr Afzal was then put in another vehicle, had a hat put over his face and driven in the direction of Edinburgh against his will.

A separate extortion charge states Mr Afzal's parents were then put in a "state of alarm and apprehension" that harm would come to their son.

It is claimed they were contacted by the trio with Mr Afzal made to confirm he was being held.

The indictment states £11,000 was initially demanded for the "safe return" of the man.

It is alleged threats were made to take Mr Afzal to Bradford, Yorkshire, to kill him unless cash was paid.

A further demand for £5000 is said to have been made before it is claimed they did "extort" the sum from Mr Afzal's parents.

Ali alone faces other charges of assault and drug possession.

Lawyers for the three pleaded not guilty on their behalf at the High Court in Glasgow.

Judge Lady Rae set a trial due to begin in March in Edinburgh.

The case could last up to ten days.

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