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2 Go on Trial in Aid Worker's Abduction

Two men on trial for kidnapping a U.S. aid worker three years ago denied involvement Monday and said authorities used torture to extract confessions from them. Magomed Gakayev and Ayub Katayev are charged with kidnapping, terrorism and participation in illegal armed groups in connection with the 2001 abduction of Kenneth Gluck, then head of the North Caucasus mission of the Dutch branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres. If convicted, the two face up to 25 years in prison. Gluck, of New York City, was held for 25 days before being released. His captors never made any demands. The Federal Security Service said its agents freed Gluck in a special operation. But Chechen leaders and some Russian news media claimed Gluck had been abducted by forces linked to the security service in an attempt to punish the aid worker for his public criticism of the military campaign in Chechnya, intimidate humanitarian groups trying to work independently there or demonstrate to observers that the war was justified. Following his release, Gluck said he did not know who his captors were and refused to speculate. Full Story

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