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Cambodian court sentences French organization director for indecent assaults against 5 boys

PHNOM PENH, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Thursday convicted 50-years-old French national Philippe Broaly to 14 months in prison, but suspended five-month prison term, on the charge of indecent assaults against five boys, according to a verdict read by Judge Plong Visal.

The verdict also ordered him to pay 5,500 U.S. dollars compensation to the three civil plaintiffs and 1,500 U.S. dollars fine.

Broaly, director of child NGO Enfants du Cambodge, was arrested in October last year by the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit in Preah Sihanouk province for alleged sexual exploitation of several boys living in his organization.

Samleang Seila, executive director of child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), which provided legal aid to the victims, said APLE was not satisfied with the judgment since the punishment is too lenient. "In addition, the court should have banned him from living in Cambodia since he will pose risk to more children in his community or children involved with his NGO program,"he said.

Cambodia launched an anti-pedophilia operation in 2003 in a bid to end its reputation as a haven for child sex offenders. Since then, dozens of foreigners have been imprisoned for child sex crimes.

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