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Koch Exec Must Amend Aspen Kidnapping Suit

(CN) - A federal judge said it would not be futile for a former Oxbow executive to amend claims that his billionaire boss William Koch imprisoned him on a sprawling Colorado ranch.

This month marks the one year anniversary of Kirby Martensen's alleged ordeal at Koch's Aspen-area Bear Ranch.

Koch has not denied firing Martensen that day, after luring him and other executives under the pretense of a company getaway, but he insists Martensen was never a prisoner.

In a motion to dismiss, the conservative industrialist said Martensen was fired for defrauding Oxbow, and that the kidnapping claims mark an attempt at retaliation.

Martensen, who filed the federal complaint in his home state of California, nevertheless maintained that he had evidence and witnesses supporting his false imprisonment claims.

He also insisted that California was not a burdensome venue for the Florida-based Koch, whom Forbes lists as "one of the wealthiest men in America."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley dismissed the case with out much ado on Friday, noting that Martensen wishes to amend the complaint and "that such amendment would not necessarily be futile."

Martensen contends he was fired because he had uncovered an alleged plot by Oxbow Carbon to evade over $200 million in taxes.

He has until March 14 to refile, and Koch must then move to dismiss that filing by March 28. Corley scheduled a the next hearing for April 25.

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