Prison Sentences Handed Down in Mondolkiri Child Torture Case

The Mondolkiri Provincial Court this morning sentenced Dutch man Stefan Struik, 53, to two years in prison for helping his Vietnamese boyfriend, Nguyen Thanh Dung, 34, flee the country after videos appearing to show Mr. Nguyen torturing a 2-year-old Cambodian boy were posted on Facebook.

Mr. Nguyen, who is in detention in Vietnam, was also sentenced in absentia to 18 years in prison, according to court spokesman Meas Pros.

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Stefan Struik, left, and Nguyen Thanh Dung appear in a still image taken from video footage posted to YouTube in January last year.

Mr. Pros added that Mr. Struik, who was arrested in December, was fined 4 million riel (about $1,000) and Mr. Nguyen 80 million riel ($20,000).

Mr. Struik was found guilty of omission to file a complaint against the mistreatment of a minor—punishable by one to three years in jail and a fine between 2 and 6 million riel ($500 to $1,500)—while Mr. Nguyen was sentenced for torture and acts of cruelty with aggravating circumstances, punishable by 10 to 20 years, Mr. Pros said.

During his trial last month, Mr. Struik, who is also a Cambodian citizen and owns the cacao plantation where the alleged torture took place, said he had not been aware of the torture until the videos were put online. He admitted that he had encouraged Mr. Nguyen to leave the country for Vietnam, but denied that he had helped him do so.

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