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Briton arrested in Siem Reap porn case gets suspended sentence

Daniel Jones is escorted by Cambodian prison guards at a court in Siem Reap on Tuesday March 20, 2018. The Briton received a one-year suspended sentence for “producing pornography”.
Daniel Jones is escorted by Cambodian prison guards at a court in Siem Reap on Tuesday March 20, 2018. The Briton received a one-year suspended sentence for “producing pornography”. AFP

Briton arrested in Siem Reap porn case gets suspended sentence

A Briton accused of organising a Siem Reap pool party featuring “pornographic dancing” received a one-year suspended prison sentence from the Siem Reap Provincial Court on Tuesday.

The court handed British national Daniel Jones a one-year sentence for “producing pornography” – the maximum sentence for the charge, despite a lack of evidence – but then suspended all but the one month and 22 days Jones had already spent in prison, said Sourng Sophea, Jones’s lawyer.

“My client did not commit the crime for which he was sentenced and put in prison. It depends on him whether he will appeal or not,” he said. He said the court had not ordered Jones’s deportation.

Court spokesman Yin Srang only confirmed that Jones had been handed a suspended sentence and would be released on Tuesday evening.

However Siem Reap Provincial Prison Director Phean Chovron said that he had yet to receive the court order for Jones’s release.

British national Daniel Jones, shown here in Cambodia in an undated photo, received a suspended sentence from the Siem Reap Provincial Court Tuesday on charges of 'producing pornography.' Supplied
British national Daniel Jones, shown here in Cambodia in an undated photo, received a suspended sentence from the Siem Reap Provincial Court Tuesday on charges of 'producing pornography.' Supplied

Jones, 30, was one of nearly 80 people detained by anti-human trafficking police at the pool party in January on accusations of “pornographic dancing”. Of the 80, only 10 were jailed as the alleged organisers of the party and sent to pre-trial detention for production of pornography.

No evidence has been produced so far to support the pornography charges, and a local official has admitted that the group organised parties and pub crawls in the area, but “did not produce pornographic pictures”.

The other nine were released on bail and expelled from the country without trial.

An attendee of the pool party told The Post that apart from men and women wearing swimwear, drinking and dancing, there was no nudity or drugs at the location.

At Jones’s trial last Thursday, an anti-human trafficking police officer claimed if they had not busted the party it would have led to sexual activity.

The prosecution also produced some photos of fully clad men and women in sexually suggestive positions, but the images did not appear to depict the party in question, and have been disputed by the defendant’s legal team as pictures from a separate pub crawl years ago.

While maintaining his client’s innocence on Tuesday, Sophea allowed that, at most, his client may have been disrespectful of Cambodia’s cultural norms, but insisted that no crime had been committed warranting a 12-month sentence.

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