The kidnapping of British glamour model Chloe Ayling was a "publicity stunt", according to a lawyer defending a man at the centre of it.
Ms Ayling was reported to have been kidnapped by a gang called the "Black Death Group" after being lured to a fake modelling shoot in Italy. But a lawyer for one of the supposed kidnappers said the case appeared to be a "sham" intended to generate publicity.
He said there was a "unique set of anomalies" that might lead the Italian authorities to think they have been "duped", a lawyer defending the kidnapper said.
He pointed to a range of events that he said were problems with the story, including the fact that Ms Ayling had reportedly gone shoe shopping with her captor, and that they had breakfast before she was handed in at the British consulate.
Lukasz Herba, 30, is in custody in Italy, having been arrested after delivering Ms Ayling to the British Embassy on July 17 - six days after she was allegedly kidnapped. He has said he did not knowingly take part in any crime.
His 36-year-old brother, Michal Herba, was arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on a European Arrest Warrant issued by the Italian authorities last month.
He appeared in custody at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday to fight extradition, having been in custody since he was apprehended in the Tividale area of Sandwell in the West Midlands.
Prosecutor Florence Iveson said Herba has been requested by the court of Milan in relation to a single offence of kidnapping arising from events between July 11 and 17.
"The allegation is that Mr Herba acted in complicity with his brother, Lukasz Herba, and other unidentified persons to kidnap the victim in Milan," she said.
"It is said she was drugged and kidnapped and a €300,000 ransom was demanded."
But Herba's lawyer, George Hepburne Scott, raised questions over the account given by Ms Ayling, of Coulsdon, south London, who claims she was drugged and bundled into the boot of a car after being tricked into attending the bogus photoshoot in Milan on July 11.
"This case has a unique set of anomalies which might lead to the conclusion that the Italian authorities have been duped and that their process has been abused."
District Judge Paul Goldspring pointed out much of the material relied on by Mr Scott came from press reports, which he said did not prove any of the theories in the case. He will give his ruling on Friday.