Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried disgraced former monk Net Khai for producing and distributing pornography, following allegations that he secretly filmed hundred of naked women, court officials said yesterday.
The former monk faced only one of his accusers at a closed session of the court yesterday, despite the fact that four women have filed complaints against him.
Municipal Court Judge Kim Dany said that the current trial would only deal with the first complaint, made by a 23-year-old woman who says the ex-monk filmed her naked at Sras Chak pagoda in Phnom Penh’s Daum Phen district. Mr Khai allegedly filmed the woman, and more than 600 others over a two-year period, when she came to the pagoda to bathe in holy water.
Lawyer for the alleged victim, Nou Navy, said that his client was demanding $20,000 in compensation from Net Khai.
“My client demands…compensation and requests that the court seriously punish the suspect,” she said.
The defendant’s lawyer, Chea Hey, said that his client had confessed to capturing videos of the women, but denied distributing them. He called for the charges against his client to be combined and dealt with in one case.
“I request that the judge please consolidate all of the cases as one case because there was only one incident,” he said.
Judge Dany said that the former monk was being tried under article 39 of the anti-human trafficking laws. The law sets out a penalty of between one month and one year in prison and a fine of up to $475,
“We will hand down the verdict next time, because this is not enough time to consider the case,” she said, without setting a date.
Net Khai was arrested in June and was charged with producing and distributing pornography on July 2. On July 9, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged 24-year-old Soeun Sopheak with disseminating pornographic material after police allegedly caught him selling videos taken by the defrocked monk.