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Hostage fired for missing work

An Austrian who was kidnaped and held hostage for 13 days was fired by his boss who accuses him of making it all up.

The married father of one was taken hostage together with his cousin just outside of Baghdad. They were driven off the road and forced to get into the boot of their car by men with Kalashnikovs.

The next 13 days, they were tortured with electric shocks and burning cigarette butts while being tied up to a chair. They were even forced to swallow dozens of sleeping pills.

The kidnappers demanded one million dollars for the release of the two men. They threatened to behead the men if the ransom wasn't paid. With the help of Austrian foreign officials who helped negotiate, the men were released for $54,000, paid by their family.

The 32-year-old engineer called his boss and told him about the ordeal. His boss wouldn't believe him eventhough government officials confirmed his story and he had the physical scars to prove it. He was sacked for taking an "extended holiday without leave".

The man, whose name is being kept secret for security reasons is now going to take legal actions to get his job back.

Paul van der MaasSun, 19 Sep 2004 16:32:00 GMT
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