Russian businessman Alexander Trofimov, arrested and jailed on charges of debauchery
two weeks ago, is being treated well in a Phnom Penh jail, and denies the accusations
against him, according to a Russian Embassy official who visited him in his Prey
Sar prison cell.
"The detained man denied all the accusations," said Timur Zevakhin, chief
of the Consular Department of the Russian Embassy, who met with Trofimov October
Zevakhin said they did not discuss the pending court case during his visit.
"He didn't complain about the prison conditions," said Zevakhhin.
Trofimov was arrested at his home in Sihanoukville on October 17 and charged with
debauchery for having sex with an underage girl. His arrest followed a months long
investigation into a complaint by the parents of a 14-year-old Cambodian girl who
claimed she had been sold to the Russian by a middleman. The accused middleman Phal
Vannara was arrested on September 3.
Meanwhile, three Cambodian women were charged last week with accessory to trafficking
and debauchery, said Bith Kim Hong, chief of anti trafficking department of the Ministry
Hong said there are seven cases underway as part of the same investigation, although
only one charge has been made in a Phnom Penh court. Complaints about Trafimov have
been received from 12 family members of six other girls in Sihanoukville court.
"The cases will be tried separately from the one filed in Phnom Penh municipal
court," said Hong.
Investigative judge Iv Kim Sry said Trofimov will go to trial within six months.
He said the defendant has not been questioned since the first hearing at Phnom Penh
municipal court on the day after his arrest.
Sry said victims and some witnesses have been questioned but he declined to elaborate.
If he is found guilty, he could face up to 10-20 years in jail according to the Cambodian
law on debauchery.
Trofimov in September 2006 announced plans to develop Snake Island off Sihanoukville
with a $300 million investment. At this stage it is unclear whether plans will proceed.