2 men stand trial in in kidnap, extortion plot

A trial is under way in Los Angeles for two defendants accused of kidnapping a man then beating him and demanding $1 million ransom.

During opening arguments Tuesday at the trial for Vagan Adzhemyan (EDZ'-ihmian) and Galvin Gibson, prosecutors described how they believed the men kidnapped Sandro Karmryan on July 29 then repeatedly beat and interrogated him while his family members in the U.S. and in Russia were contacted and told to pay the ransom.

Adzhemyan's lawyer said his client was forced to kidnap Karmryan because Karmryan had paid another man to kill him after a complicated real estate transaction went sour.

Gibson's lawyer said his client was simply trying to help a friend in mortal danger.

A third defendant has pleaded guilty in the case.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.