Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court expels Italian sex criminal

Court expels Italian sex criminal

Court expels Italian sex criminal

THE Court of Appeal on Tuesday ordered an Italian national convicted of performing indecent acts against six minors to leave the country after suspending a two-year jail term handed down in 2008, a decision that outraged the victims’ lawyer.

Fabio Cencini, 45, was arrested in February 2008 in Sihanoukville and charged with sexually abusing four girls and two boys aged between 8 and 13 years. He was found guilty and originally sentenced to two years in prison, with three months to be served immediately and the remainder to be served pending his appeal.

However, presiding judge Seng Sivutha ruled Tuesday that the remaining 21 months would remain suspended, with Cencini free to go after serving three months in prison from February to May 2008.

“It is a misdemeanour crime, and in the two years since he has been out on bail he has not committed another crime,” he ruled.

The court also ruled that Cencini had to pay a 2 million-riel (US$477) fine and 2 million riels to each victim, and ordered him to leave Cambodia.

Noun Panith, the victims’ lawyer provided by child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said he would continue to plead with prosecutors to ensure that Cencini serves more jail time.

“We are terribly sorry for the Appeals Court’s decision, which was contrary to the original ruling,” he said. “It was very strange for the Appeal Court to not uphold the entire lower court conviction but suspend the rest of his sentence.”

Cencini, speaking to the court, said he would go home after being set free. “I would like to request court officials to let me go home and visit my elderly parents in my country by providing me my confiscated passport.”

Tith Savuthy, Cencini’s lawyer, said the decision to suspend the rest of the sentence was “acceptable” and helped clarify the original sentence handed down in provincial court.


  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group