Three Frenchmen Caught Naked at Temple Sentenced, Deported

Three French tourists caught taking naked pictures of each other at an Angkorian temple on Thursday were swiftly tried on indecency and pornography charges and deported from Cambodia over the weekend, a court official said Sunday.

The tourists—Rodolphe Fourgeot, 19; Alexandre Vix, 19; and Vincent Bocquet, 20—were convicted of producing pornography and for “exposure of sexual organs” by the Siem Reap Provincial Court on Saturday, according to deputy prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith.

The Frenchmen were fined 1 million riel (about $250) each, slapped with six-month suspended sentences and immediately deported, Mr. Keo Bandith said, adding that the trio had also been banned from returning to Cambodia for the next four years.

“We used the procedure of deportation in order to warn other foreigners,” he said.

Siem Reap provincial heritage and tourism police arrested the Frenchmen in flagrante delicto on Thursday as they were taking photos of each other in the nude at Banteay Kdei temple.

Apsara Authority spokesperson Chau Sun Kerya on Sunday praised the swift sentencing of the three offenders.

“For me, this trial was appropriate…. We won’t allow them to enter Cambodia for four years and confiscated their [camera] equipment,” she said.

Ms. Sun Kerya said the men told authorities that their photos were only intended for personal use, and not for distribution.

“Based on their answers, they had no intention to do business with these pictures, and they used to take photos for fun like this in other countries, too,” she said.

She said she was unsure whether the men had already been deported, but Long Kosal, deputy director of the Apsara Authority’s communications department, said they left Cambodia on an early morning flight Sunday.

The arrest of the Frenchmen came just days after the Apsara Authority, a government body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park, vowed to investigate a series of photos of a woman posing topless at the park that have been circulating online for more than a year.

The photographs were shared widely by Cambodian Facebook users last month, many of whom castigated the government for not being able to prevent the risque shoot.

Ms. Sun Kerya said that based on a preliminary investigation, the Apsara Authority had determined that the photos were fake and that the woman had been photoshopped into place.

“We suspect they are photoshopped pictures, rather than real pictures, because professional photos need at least a half hour to prepare the place, and this is a tourist place, so they could not have done it. It’s impossible,” she said.

sony@cambodiadaily.com

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