The Supreme Court yesterday heard the appeal trial of a German man and two Vietnamese women who were convicted in 2007 for running what police at the time termed one of the most brutal pedophilia rings uncovered.
Karl Heinz Henning, 66 – the convicted mastermind of the ring – appeared at court yesterday to seek an acquittal of his 28-year sentence.
“I did not have sex with those girls. They just visited my room very often.… I ask the court to release me, because I have an incurable disease and have been in prison for seven years,” he told the court yesterday.
Henning was arrested in August 2006 along with another German national and three Vietnamese nationals – including one who was later found guilty of selling her own daughter. When police raided his home, they found four naked Vietnamese girls ranging in age from 10 to 14.
Seeking to evade the authorities, Henning threw himself out of a first-floor window. By the end of the raid, police had seized vast amounts of sadomasochistic child pornography – primarily images and footage of Henning and other older Western men whipping and raping bound children.
Cheng Thit You and Lim Ny, who received 17 and 15 years, respectively, on human-trafficking charges, yesterday denied the allegation. Their lawyer yesterday blasted the court for failing to launch a full investigation.
“The court listened to only the police reports and has not listened to evidence from the suspects,” said Peung Yokheab, the lawyer of Thit You and Henning, who asked that the pair have their sentence lessened to between five to 10 years.
“My clients are old and have a chronic disease too. I suggest the Supreme Court return the case to the appeal court to open the trial again.”
A verdict is expected on October 9.