Briton charged with paedophilia in Cambodia

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A Cambodian court has charged a British computer engineer with paying for sex with underage local girls, police said Wednesday.

Matthew Harland, 36, was arrested last week and Phnom Penh Municipal court charged him on Tuesday with buying sex from two children in 2006 and committing an indecent act against a 13-year-old girl more recently, police said.

Keo Thea, chief of Phnom Penh's anti-human trafficking unit, told AFP that police had confiscated two laptops -- one containing 200 pornographic images, mostly of children -- from the suspect.

A British police report said Harland jumped bail from Britain in 2005 after being arrested on child pornography charges, Keo Thea said.

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

© 2010 AFP

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