AFTER numerous postponements, convicted Russian sex offender Alexander Trofimov will go on trial at the Sihanoukville municipal court from today through Thursday, a court judge told the Post.
Judge Taing Sunlay, who is set to preside over the trial, said Monday that "it is time for his [Trofimov's] trial. We cannot delay any longer. These cases are very complicated and take time".
Trofimov, 41, the focus of Cambodia's largest-ever paedophile prosecution, was arrested in 2007 in Sihanoukville and convicted in March 2008 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.
He was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. The sentence was slashed to seven years by the Appeals Court in October.
Taing Sunlay said that Trofimov, the former chairman of Koh Puos Investment Group, responsible for a US$300 million development off the coast of Sihanoukville, stands accused of sexually abusing another 18 girls, and if found guilty would face between seven and 15 years behind bars.
Trofimov's trial has been postponed several times due to a lack of defence lawyers, but Taing Sunlay confirmed that Saing Vannak will defend him for the upcoming trial.
"I'm studying the case in detail as it is very new for me," said Saing Vannak, before declining further comment,
Teng Maneth, a legal officer at anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour les Enfants who will attend the hearing, said that Trofimov has tried to avoid his trial by refusing a defence lawyer or by changing lawyers. "The court will not delay his trial anymore," Teng Maneth said.