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Chula Vista Kidnap for Ransom Hearing Continues

Preliminary hearings in the case of a Mexican businessman who was kidnapped for ransom in Chula Vista enter their fourth day Tuesday. One expert says the extent of the hearings may mean the defense is

Chula Vista Kidnap for Ransom Hearing Continues

Preliminary hearings in the case of a Mexican businessman who was kidnapped for ransom in Chula Vista enter their fourth day Tuesday. One expert says the extent of the hearings may mean the defense is trying to gauge if there's a federal investigation. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

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So far, hearings in this case have included the victim's testimony that he was held for nine days while his captors tried to collect $2 million ransom. There have been photos of the injuries he sustained. An FBI agent explained how five of the alleged kidnappers were arrested at the house where the victims was held in Chula Vista. Also, defense attorneys have probed the victim's ties to Tijuana's Arellano Felix Drug Cartel.

Former federal prosecutor John Kirby says the fact the hearings are so detailed may mean the defense and prosecution are testing the waters.

<b> Kirby: </b> The district attorneys often use it to test witnesses. And defense council often use it to get as much additional information they can especially if they think there's something more than what's in the charging document as far as investigation or crimes that have been committed.

Federal authorities have been close-mouthed, however they believe the defendants may be part of a kidnap and murder ring that's operated in southern San Diego County for the past few years.

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Amy Isackson, KPBS News.