Belgian Court Denies New Trial for Pedophile

Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen, who fled to Cambodia last year after being sentenced to 19 years in prison by a Belgian court, was denied a new trial in Brussels on Tuesday, a spokesman for a Belgian NGO said on Wednesday.

Mr. Ceulen, a businessman and serial offender, was convicted of making child pornography, including some with his adopted Cambodian children, in absentia by a court in Antwerp in January last year.

That month, he went missing while on bail, only to turn up in Cambodia, where he was arrested in Phnom Penh in March, deported back to Belgium and then arrested upon arrival and sent to prison.

Belgium’s high court, the “Cour de Cassation,” which reviews whether lower courts followed proper legal procedure, denied Mr. Ceulen’s appeal for a new trial, said Dirk Depover, spokesman for NGO Child Focus, which was a civil party to the trial.

Mr. Ceulen argued unsuccessfully that a television documentary about his case, which aired days before the first ruling, had made it impossible for him to have a fair trial, Mr. Depover said.

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