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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Soldiers Convicted




POTSDAM, Germany -- A German court on Tuesday convicted two Russians of manslaughter and extortion over the death of a 20-year-old German soldier who suffocated in a pit during a botched kidnapping.


A state court in Potsdam sentenced both Vyacheslav Orlov and Sergei Serov to 14 1/2 years in prison for the 1997 kidnapping of Matthias Hintze.


The two, former soldiers in the Soviet army in East Germany, had sought a ransom of 1 million Deutsche marks ($530,000) from Hintze's parents.


Hintze was found dead in a makeshift underground prison in remote north German woodland after several attempts to hand over the ransom failed.


They admitted kidnapping Hintze but said they did not intend to kill their victim.