The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday that the Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh is cooperating with Cambodian authorities to extradite Stanislav Molodyakov back to Russia, where he is wanted for the violent rape of three children.
“By the information we have in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia, the Cambodian party has manifested their readiness to begin the procedure of his deportation to Russia,” a Foreign Ministry official said by telephone from Moscow.
“The Embassy of Russia in Phnom Penh is [working] with the authorities of Cambodia on this issue, about this problem,” said the official, who declined to provide his full name, or details of the extradition process.
“On the 4th of June this year, the authorities of Cambodia informed the Embassy of Russia in Phnom Penh about the second arrest of Mr. Molodyakov, also known as Mr. Trofimov,” the official said.
“In 2008, the general public prosecution of Russia made a request about the extradition of Mr. Molodyakov,” he continued.
Molodyakov, who also uses the alias Alexander Trofimov, was arrested in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu commune on Monday in response to an Interior Ministry order calling for the serial child abuser’s expulsion from Cambodia.
Last year, Molodyakov had his jail sentence slashed and he was controversially released from Preah Sihanouk Provincial Prison, where he had served just half of an eight-year sentence for the sexual abuse of 15 Cambodian children.
During Molodyakov’s brief stint in prison, he was also regularly allowed to leave the jail whenever he wanted to visit former business interests in Sihanoukville. There were also reported sightings of Molodyakov dining at restaurants in Phnom Penh when he was supposed to be in jail.
Molodyakov’s possible extradition to face justice in Russia has been hailed by child protection groups and the international police agency, Interpol – who had issued a ‘red notice’ seeking the Russian national’s arrest internationally for his crimes in Russia.
“It’s a good thing for the police and the government,” said Steve Morris, founder and executive director of South East Asia Investigations into Social and Humanitarian Activities, which assisted Cambodian police at the time of Molodyakov’s initial arrest in 2007.
“It sends a message that Cambodia is going in the right direction,” he said.
Deputy National Police Chief Lieutenant General Sok Phal on Wednesday said Russian authorities would accompany Molodyakov back to Russia from Cambodia, but he declined to give further details.
Following his early release from prison in December, 14 non-governmental organizations signed a petition urging the Cambodian government to extradite Molodyakov to Russia, where he is wanted by a court in the city of Mytischi, just outside Moscow, for perpetrating “violent acts of a sexual nature” against two 11-year-old girls and a 10-year old girl.
The Interior Ministry’s order to re-arrest the serial child abuser was issued in March, shortly after reporters spotted Molodyakov shopping for vegetables at a supermarket in Phnom Penh despite government officials having claimed that he had left the country, and that his whereabouts where unknown.