It will be the most dramatic court case of the decade in Siberia – if not all Russia. After almost 20 years dodging the authorities in no less than five countries, Suzanna Gubasheva, 42, is under detention in Novosibirsk, Russia, according to reports from The Siberian Times.
Gubasheva is now the subject of an international custody battle with her Swedish husband. Their five month-old baby, Ralph, is also in custody with his mother.
Gubasheva, a graduate of Novosibirsk State University, has been called "the Siberian Jason Bourne". She is accused of luring two businessmen she knew to a flat in Novosibirsk, where she and five accomplices tied them up, beat and raped them, 18 years ago, according to the Russian general prosecutor's office.
It also is alleged that the gang recorded the rapes and used the video to blackmail the men. They allegedly demanded US $21,000 in return for not publicising the video and photos.
The Siberian Interior Ministry stated: "In December 1997 a group of offenders, among them Suzanna, kidnapped two local businessmen, with whom they were previously acquainted. The kidnapped were raped. Suzanna also took part in this, obviously she took pictures and made a video. It will be clear during the investigation."
The businessmen went to the police who seized the gang – but Gubasheva, allegedly the ringleader, escaped. She fled to the Black Sea, before obtaining a fake Greek passport and moving to Greece.
Interpol sent requests to police in different countries, but Gubasheva's fake identity remained secure. "We were looking for Suzanna, and she already had different name," said Alexei Bunkov, senior detective of Interpol in Novosibirsk region. "Now we realise it was useless."
In 2001, she moved to Sweden, where she obtained residency and Swedish citizenship, before meeting her future husband Kay Kjell Åke Selberg in 2006. She also set up a pornography business.
"We met nine years ago, I helped her to issue citizenship," he explained to Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. "She then had an Internet business – porn sites, but it did not bother me." The couple married and their daughter, Isabella, was born four years ago.
The Russian police were monitoring Gubasheva's mother and when she visited Sweden they discovered Gubasheva's location. But attempts to extradite her failed: "The Swedes said that they cannot give her to us, because she had already received citizenship of their country," said Bunkov.
When Gubasheva visited Italy she was detained by the Italians, but escaped by jumping from a window. Soon after she returned to Sweden, this time with a fake Czech identity.
When the couple visited Latvia, a further extradition attempt failed. Bunkov said: "Latvia refused to give her to us, because according the Latvian legislation the criminal prosecution on Gubasheva's crimes had expired. Then we waited until September 2014 when she flew to Spain."
She was detained in Spain in September 2014 while pregnant, and gave birth in a Spanish prison. Her husband then became fully aware of his wife's background. "All this time she had fooled me totally. She was wanted for terrible crimes," said Selberg. "But even worse, my son, whom I've never seen, became the hostage to these crimes."
Suzanna wrote a letter to her husband: "Ralph will be accepted as Russian citizen," she said. "Russia will never give you child who is Russian. Do not waste time."
"She understands that while she is holding the son, she can get some preferential terms for her expected sentence in a prison colony," he said. "That is, she uses the baby as a kind of insurance and shield," he said. "She is a terrible, cruel person."