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Mum’s credibility tested in kidnap case

court melbourne children kidnap
The credibility of a Melbourne mum whose children were allegedly kidnapped will be tested in court. Photo: AAP
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Defence lawyers want to challenge the credibility of a mother who was assaulted in her Melbourne home before her two children were allegedly kidnapped.

Ji Jiang, 36, is charged with kidnapping a five-year-old girl and her three-year-old brother from their Blackburn North home on August 21 last year.

Mr Ji, from Mitcham, faces 10 charges over the incident involving the children’s mother being seriously assaulted before they were taken in the family’s Mercedes-Benz.

It’s alleged Mr Ji was armed with a knife and demanded a $1 million ransom for the release of the children, who were found 12 hours later at a home in Mitcham.

Prosecutor Daniel White told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday that an offer had been made to them by the defence, but there were still disputes over some of the facts.

He wants to proceed to a committal hearing, where some of the evidence will be challenged.

Mr Ji’s lawyer Zoe Broughton said among the evidence to be examined was the mother’s description of her attacker as “black”.

She said the woman described the man as speaking a language that was “possibly African”.

Multiple police officers statements recorded that as her description, Ms Broughton said.

But she said the woman’s husband had said that the family knew Mr Ji and he had been to their house five to six times.

“There is that conflict … about the identity and description of the offender, which would ultimately go to the credibility of the complainant,” she said.

Mr Ji faced court by videolink on Friday.

“Life has been hard for me. I hope that you can help me, I’m not a bad person,” he said through a Mandarin interpreter.

Mr Ji’s case will return to court on April 8 for a further committal mention.

-AAP