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Appeal heard in child pornography case

THE Appeal Court yesterday heard an appeal in the case of Japanese national Shunichi Nakagawa, who was convicted in July 2009 of producing child pornography and sentenced to six years jail.

Preah Sihanouk provincial court, which handed down the original ruling, also ordered him to pay each of his seven victims 500,000 riel (US$125) in damages.

Peng Maneth of the anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said the original sentence was insubstantial and called for $5,000 damages to be paid to each of the victims.

“We hope that court officials will meet our request, not only for the benefit of the victims, but to act as a warning for potential offenders,” he said.

Court prosecutor Prak Kimsan reiterated the request, urging judges to reconsider the small amount of money given to the boys in compensation.

Viroch Sophang, Nakagawa’s defence lawyer, said the original sentence should be upheld, but admitted the financial penalties might increase, since his client’s crimes had had “such a detrimental effect on the victims’ reputation”.

Presiding judge Chuon Sunleng said a verdict would be announced January 18.

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