Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Men face trial over kidnap and extortion allegations

Three men are to stand trial accused of kidnapping a man and extorting thousands of pounds from his parents.

Patrick Loyden, 49; Ziarat Ali, 33; and Basharat Khan, 30, are facing charges of assault, extortion and abduction. All three deny the charges.

They are accused of attacking Bilaal Afzal in September 2017.

The events are alleged to have taken place in the Newington and Fountainbridge areas of Edinburgh and Newtown St Boswells in the Borders.

Prosecutors claim Mr Afzal was detained against his will.

It is alleged that he was dragged from a car and forced into another, before being driven to a house and beaten with a baseball bat.

Safe return

He was then alleged to have been put in another vehicle and driven towards Edinburgh.

The three men are accused of calling Mr Afzal's parents and demanding £11,000 for his safe return.

It is also claimed that the men threatened to drive Mr Afzal to Bradford in Yorkshire and kill him unless the money was paid.

They are then accused of demanding £5,000 before extorting that sum from Mr Afzal's parents.

Lawyers representing the men pled not guilty on their behalf during an appearance at the High Court in Glasgow.

The trial is due to take place in March in Edinburgh, and could last up to 10 days.