Cambodian police arrest French sex convict: officials

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Cambodian police have arrested a Frenchman convicted of raping a minor in France, who fled his home country six years ago to escape arrest, officials said Sunday.

Francis Leroun, 54, was detained in custody after his arrest on Saturday in a rented house in southern Cambodia at the request of a French court, according to provincial prosecutor Bou Bun Hang.

"We are awaiting further action from the appeal court," he told AFP on Sunday.

Leroun escaped in 2004 but was tried in absentia and sentenced to 12 years in jail, a French embassy official said on condition of anonymity.

He said the embassy would ask the Cambodian court to extradite Leroun to France within two months.

Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia push in 2003 to try to shake off its reputation as a sex predators' haven. Dozens of foreigners have since been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries.

© 2010 AFP

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