Cambodia tries suspected German paedophiles

1st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

1 March 2007, Phnom Penh (dpa) - A Cambodian court on Thursday reserved judgement in the case of two German men at the centre of one of the most harrowing paedophilia cases in the country's history. Karl Heinz Henning, 61, and Thomas Baron von Engelhardt, 42, were arrested last August in connection with the aggravated and repeated rapes of five girls aged between 10 and 14 years. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday said judgement would be handed down on March 9. The pair were charged with debauchery

1 March 2007

Phnom Penh (dpa) - A Cambodian court on Thursday reserved judgement in the case of two German men at the centre of one of the most harrowing paedophilia cases in the country's history.

Karl Heinz Henning, 61, and Thomas Baron von Engelhardt, 42, were arrested last August in connection with the aggravated and repeated rapes of five girls aged between 10 and 14 years.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday said judgement would be handed down on March 9.

The pair were charged with debauchery - the Cambodian term for sex crimes against children - and human trafficking offences.

Police said they had been tipped off by neighbours who had heard children screaming.

Both men pleaded not guilty, but Cambodian police told the court on Thursday they had obtained photographic evidence of the crimes from locked computer files, with the help of German police.

These included images showed both accused engaged in violent sexual acts with children, the court heard.

The lawyer for the alleged victims, Samphon Saphoroath on Thursday said she had pictures depicting the girls bound while being raped by the accused.

She also alleged that the children, who testified in camera, had been administered the drug Ecstasy before they were abused. Sex toys and paraphenalia and cuddly children's toys were presented in court.

Three ethnic Vietnamese - Nguyen Hong Voeng, Cheng Thi Yu and and her sister, Cheng Thit Heu - were also tried and accused of providing the children, some their own offspring, for sex.

Henning, a Berlin native, and von Engelhardt, of Munich, face sentences of up to 20 years in prison if convicted of debauchery.

Their Vietnamese co-accused face 10 to 20 years if convicted of human trafficking and providing children for sex.

Police have described the case as one of the most brutal paedophilia cases ever investigated in Cambodia, which has been trying to shrug off its reputation as a haven for paedophiles and has jailed dozens of child molesters in recent years.

DPA

Subject: German news

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