Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreign paedophile brags about freedom ‘at a price’




Foreign paedophile brags about freedom ‘at a price’

Foreign paedophile brags about freedom ‘at a price’

A CONVICTED paedophile has boasted of paying a US$11,000 bribe for an acquittal at an Appeal Court hearing in Phnom Penh tomorrow, a Swedish newspaper said yesterday.

The report came just two weeks after child rights group Action Pour Les Enfants filed complaints with the Interior and Justice ministries calling for an investigation of a 65-year-old Dutch man charged with sex crimes in April who allegedly bragged in his diary about bribing court officials in Preah Sihanouk province.

The Svenska Dagbladet newspaper report chronicled the case of a 63-year-old Swede who was arrested in May of last year and convicted of sex crimes in January, receiving a six-and-a-half year prison sentence. Though the man is not named in the article, the circumstantial information included matches the case of Johan Brahim Escori, 63, who was convicted in January on two counts of committing indecent acts and having sex with children.

“A common, simple bribe of $11,000 means that I will soon be a free man,” the unnamed Swede told Svenska Dagbladet. He also described how he had coached one of his alleged victims – his 9-year-old adopted son – to offer supportive testimony at trial.

“I am training him so that he says the right things and does not contradict himself,” the man reportedly said.

Martin Schibbye, the writer of the article, said in an email that the conversation had been recorded.

APLE director Samleang Seila said that the individual in the article was “obviously” Escori, and that he was not surprised by the revelations.

“It is ongoing bribery and corruption at the court,” Samleang Seila said. “This is very common in foreign paedophile cases.”

Appeal Court President You Bunleng said: “If court officials really take bribes in return for freeing prisoners, this is illegal and must be investigated, but I deny that this problem is happening in my institution because I always talk clearly about the bribery issue in every meeting.”

Samleang Seila said APLE was preparing to file a complaint with the government urging investigation of possible bribery in Escori’s case.

The APLE complaint filed two weeks ago concerned the case of a 65-year-old Dutch man who was arrested in Preah Sihanouk province in April and charged with committing indecent acts, purchasing child prostitution and possessing child pornography.

This man is being held in pretrial detention.

Samleang Seila said his group had obtained a diary written in Dutch that discussed thousands of dollars in bribes paid to court officials in Preah Sihanouk province. Handwriting analysis, Samleang Seila said, confirmed the author’s identity.

Kim Eng, deputy director of Preah Sihanouk provincial court, called the alleged bribery “impossible”.

Bith Kimhong, director of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department at the Ministry of the Interior, said he had yet to see the complaint.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.