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French alleged paedophile testifies

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday heard the case of a 60-year-old Frenchman charged with soliciting sex with a 16-year-old Cambodian girl and producing and possessing pornography.

Claude Jean-Pierre Demeret was arrested August 20 in Boeung Kok district. Police searched the room of the guesthouse where Demeret was staying and found children’s underwear and toys, as well as dozens of explicit photographs of himself.

Demeret told the court he had not had intercourse with the victim, but admitted to having the victim perform a sex act on him.

Demeret’s defence lawyer argued that the accused was the victim of entrapment on the part of police and a local NGO. Presiding Judge Chan Madina seemed to accept that argument, accusing the plaintiff of having been involved in similar schemes with four other foreigners in recent years.

The victim’s lawyer, Peng Maneth, from the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, denied the entrapment charge. A verdict will be handed down on January 26.

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