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Alleged victims heard in child-sex court case

A Swiss national on trial over child prostitution charges following his arrest in Siem Reap last August will hear a verdict this month, after his alleged victims testified against him.

Siem Reap provincial court judge Hok Pov said on Thursday that he would deliver a verdict in the case of 52-year-old Erich Bader on April 21.

Bader is charged with one count of purchasing child prostitution from two boys now aged 24 and 17.

The 24-year-old man, who was eleven years old at the time of the alleged offence, testified on Thursday that Bader performed oral sex on him during a boat trip in Phnom Penh.

“At night he started to perform oral sex on me while we slept in the same bed,” he said. “After that Erich bought me three bicycles.”

The 17-year-old boy told the court that Bader fondled him in his sleep on two occasions at Bader’s guesthouse – the Prince Mekong Villa in Siem Reap town – and offered him cash payments after each incident.

“I used to get some money from Eric, he paid me US$8 after the second time it happened,” he said.

Noun Panith, a lawyer for the victims, said in court that Bader should be jailed and “banned” from Cambodia.

Defence lawyer Li Veng Chheng expressed to the court that Bader should be released due to mistakes made in the initial police investigation.

“The police arrested Erich [Bader] without having any clear proof or witnesses, especially about dates he is alleged to have performed the offences,” he said.

Erich Bader has denied the accusations in court.

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