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Seven foreigners granted bail in Siem Reap 'porn' case

A group of foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ stand outside a courtroom in Siem Reap province on January 27. Chan Raksmey/AFP
A group of foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ stand outside a courtroom in Siem Reap province on January 27. Chan Raksmey/AFP

Seven foreigners granted bail in Siem Reap 'porn' case

Seven of the 10 foreigners arrested for so-called “pornographic dancing” during a pool party in Siem Reap last month were released yesterday on bail, a court spokesman said today.

Yin Srang, Siem Reap Provincial Court spokesman, confirmed that seven of the detainees received bail, but could not provide the nationalities of those released.

“Seven of them got bail, I think yesterday. But I don't know who they are,” he said. "The decision was made by Investigating Judge Chhe Virak."

The group was arrested in a Janurary 25 raid by 30 anti-human trafficking police in Siem Reap’s Svay Dangkum commune, where they were attending a pool party set up by a group of party organisers called “Let’s Get Wet”. They were provisionally charged with "producing pornography", despite a local official later acknowledging, point blank, that the group "did not produce pornographic pictures". The charge carries a sentence of one month to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

A new defence lawyer on the case, Ouch Sopheaktra, confirmed that he had filed for bail for seven of the 10 foreigners but had not heard the request was granted. He said the seven were not involved with organising the party.

Meanwhile, Sourng Sophea, another lawyer for the group, said that Judge Virak had informed him that the investigation period had been closed, but no hearing date had been scheduled.

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