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Cablegate: Cambodian Court Prosecutes Boyajian Broker For

VZCZCXRO9932
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0933 3520726
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180726Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1468
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000933

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, DRL, G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KTIP KJUS CB
SUBJECT: CAMBODIAN COURT PROSECUTES BOYAJIAN BROKER FOR
TRAFFICKING

REF: PHNOM PENH 707

1. (SBU) The Phnom Penh Municipal Court December 17
concluded the trial of Ho Nguy on charges of trafficking and
conspiracy to traffick underage girls to have sex with
foreign clients.

2. (SBU) Municipal-level anti-human trafficking police
initially arrested the 26-year old Nguy in February 2009 when
an investigation into American pedophile Ronald Boyajian
uncovered Nguy's role as a broker. Nguy allegedly brought
multiple girls to Boyajian's hotel room, where the American
abused and forced the girls into sex acts. Nguy was briefly
released by the municipal police, but quickly re-arrested
after senior officers in the Anti-Human Trafficking and
Juvenile Protection Police (AHTJP) Department intervened.
Nguy has been in pre-trial detention since the second arrest.

3. (SBU) According to one 16-year-old victim's testimony at
the trial, Nguy allegedly lured her from her family home in
Svay Pak district outside Phnom Penh using promises of work,
but instead delivered her to Boyajian. Boyajian was one of
three Americans returned to the United States in August to
stand trial on charges under the PROTECT ACT as part of the
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office's Operation
Twisted Traveller. The victim testified that Nguy sexually
abused her and other girls directly, in addition to
trafficking them to foreign clients. A 9-year-old girl also
testified to being transported to Phnom Penh by Nguy and then
abused by Boyajian.

4. (SBU) A court observer from International Justice Mission
(IJM) stated that the testimony of both girls was strong.
The IJM worker, with knowledge of the case file, said the
prosecution's evidence also included statements by Svay Pak
residents that Nguy's primary source of income was brokering
girls, photographs of Nguy with the victims, and photographs
of him accepting money from clients. Local media reported
that Nguy admitted engaging in the activities and quoted him
saying "I really didn't know this business was against the
law." Nguy's defense attorney claimed the charges were
"unjust" because Boyajian was not available to shed light on
the case. But the IJM observer said judge Chan Madina
appeared to have little tolerance for that argument. A
verdict is expected on December 25; if convicted, Nguy faces
up to 15 years in prison.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: During his September visit to Post, which
came on the heels of Operation Twisted Traveller, G/TIP
Ambassador CdeBaca spoke frequently of the need for Cambodian
authorities to match the cooperation on arresting and
returning the Americans with arrests and prosecutions of
Cambodian middle-men who facilitated the abuse (reftel). The
trial of Ho Nguy demonstrates the critical follow-through
Ambassador CdeBaca called for, and the increasing ability of
law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute
trafficking cases in addition to child sex tourism cases.
END COMMENT.
LAWLESS

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