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Kidnapper of Kaspersky's Son Gets 4 1/2 Years

A former special services officer was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in jail for his role in last year's kidnapping of the son of software tycoon Yevgeny Kaspersky, prosecutors said Thursday.

Ivan Kaspersky, a student who was 20 years old at the time of his kidnapping, was abducted on his way to work in northwestern Moscow in April 2011.

Ivan was put into a banya on the premises of a house in the Moscow region. His kidnappers then demanded ransom of 3 million euros ($4.3 million) from his father, Yevgeny Kaspersky, founder of software company Kaspersky Lab.

Five days after his abduction, Ivan Kaspersky was freed in a special operation in which no shots were fired.

Alexei Ustimchuk, formerly a captain in the Federal Security Guard Service, confessed to co-organizing the kidnapping and agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors. He was tried by a military court separately from other suspects in the case.

According to prosecutors, Ustimchuk did preparatory work for the kidnapping and bought three foreign-made cars and 20 cellphones, presumably for use in the crime. His defense said he hadn't known about the kidnapping plan masterminded by his friend's father, Nikolai Savelyev, reported.

Prosecutors have also arrested Savelyev, his father Nikolai Savelyev and their friend Semyon Gromov in connection with the kidnapping, and they face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. They have not been tried yet.

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