28 April 2005
BRUSSELS – A Belgian man went on trial in Brussels on Thursday charged with abusing “over 200” homeless boys in Thailand, the Belga news agency reported.
The 47 year old man has been in custody since October and has confessed to the charges, but he says the boys consented.
Belgian prosecutors are calling for a seven year prison sentence, saying the man has shown “no regret” for his alleged crimes.
Prosecutors say the man has visited Thailand regularly since 1981 with the express purpose of taking part in sexual tourism.
They also say he set up a network with other like-minded people.
Police found a large collection of child pornography downloaded from the internet during a search of the man’s home in Brussels.
They say he also had a dark room for developing photographs.
In addition the suspect is believed to have abused boys with a Finnish man, who kept a list of 455 children he abused in Thailand.
The man’s lawyer said his client had repented and wanted to seek help.
In court the man said that he “intended to commit suicide” because he knew he had a problem.
The trial is set to continue in mid-May.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news