Pedophile Was Permitted To Leave Prison

Convicted Russian pedophile Alexander Trofimov, wanted in Russia for sex crimes against children and sentenced in Cambodia to 17 years imprisonment for child abuse here, was allowed to leave prison to visit his investment project in Preah Sihanouk province last month, officials said Wednesday. At the time of his arrest in September 2007, Trofimov, who’s real name is Stanislav Molodyakov, was the executive director of the Koh Puos Investment Group, which has a $300 million hotel and shopping development planned for an island off Preah Sihanouk. On Saturday a senior Justice Ministry official was charged for allegedly accepting at least $250,000 to forge documents in an apparent attempt to have Trofimov released on the pretense of being extradited to Russian to face trial.

“[Trofimov] left the prison one time to visit the construction site at Hawaii beach,” provincial prison Director Heng Huon confirmed by telephone Wednesday, adding that the convict was accompanied by one armed prison guard during his visit on May 8 at 10 am.

Mr Huon said the project site was about 1 km away from prison, adding that he had not been paid to let the prisoner leave the jail.

“Normally, this is against the regulations, but it is not serious because he is still in our hands,” Mr Huon said.

“It is against the prison rules, but I did not break the law because he has not gone anywhere,” he added.

When asked why he had knowingly broken regulations and allowed Trofimov leave the prison, Mr Huon said: “There was no money. He helped our Khmers; we are happy normally with the bridge construction.”

The prison director said a car from Koh Puos Investment had come to the prison to pick up Trofimov and take him to the site where a bridge is being constructed from the mainland to the island on which the firm plans to build a shopping and resort complex.

Mr Huon also said that an inspection team with officials from the Appeal Court and the Interior and Justice Ministries, visited his prison early this month, “advising and warning” him not to allow Trofimov to leave the prison again.

“Since then, he has requested to be allowed to go outside, but I said he should let the company contact the prosecutor, but he just kept asking me. I said, ‘I don’t dare do it,'” the prison director said of his communication with Trofimov.

Despite having visited the construction site last month and having apparently traveled in a vehicle owned by Koh Puos Investment, the company claimed earlier this year that Trofimov has not worked for the firm for nearly two years.

“At the moment of his [Trofimov’s] arrest he was not employed by the company,” according to a letter sent to The Cambodia Daily in February, which was signed by Alexander Kiryushin, the chairman of Koh Puos Investment’s board of directors.

Koh Puos Investment has not responded to telephone calls, e-mails and a faxed letter sent to the company Tuesday and Wednesday asking for comment regarding Trofimov`s links the company.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Sboang Sarath said Wednesday that he was aware that Trofimov had been allowed to leave prison to visit his project once.

“He just went outside one time to explain about the projects to others about where to build this and that,” Mr Sarath said. “There were police guarding him,” he added.

Mr Sarath said that he was unaware that Trofimov is wanted in Russia and declined to comment about the Koh Puos Investment project.

“I don’t know his old name, I just know that Sascha was already arrested for raping children,” the governor said, using Trofimov’s nickname.

Preah Sihanouk Prosecutor Bou Bun Hang, who revealed Tuesday that the provincial prison director had allowed Trofimov out of prison, said Wednesday that he was too busy to discuss the matter in detail.

However, despite officials’ claims that the Russian had only been let out of prison once, a lawyer with the anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, Peng Maneth reiterated on Wednesday that Trofimov had been spotted three times this year visiting the construction site on Hawaii Beach.

“He was outside like a normal person; there are prison regulations that all prisoners must be in prison,” Ms Maneth said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak said Wednesday that the ministry is “going to take action” concerning the decision by Mr Huon to allow Trofimov to leave prison.

“I don’t know what action precisely, but the general-director of the prison department is asking permission from the Justice Minister to take action,” he said, before referring further questions to the prison department General-Director Heng Hak, who could not be reached for comment.

(Additional reporting by Paul Vrieze)

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