German Accused of Child Sex Abuse Bemoans Treatment

The trial of a German expatriate accused of sexually abusing five young boys at his Phnom Penh home concluded at the mu­nicipal court on Thursday with the defendant claiming that he had been “treated like a dog” over the course of his prosecution.

Udo Sabiniewicz, 56, was ar­rested in June at his FX Ani­mation dubbing studio in Chbar Ampov district, which doubles as his home, and charged with five counts of committing indecent acts against minors, after the moth­ers of two young boys ac­cused him of abusing their sons. His alleged victims are be­tween the ages of 7 and 11.

German national Udo Sabiniewicz leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
German national Udo Sabiniewicz leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

The German has maintained his innocence throughout his trial, claiming he was set up by one of the women—his former cleaner—after he accused her son of stealing his iPad.

In her concluding statement on Thursday, San Sony, a lawyer for anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) who is representing two of the victims, including the cleaner’s son, said Mr. Sa­bin­iewicz’s story was a fabrication.

“I have seen the accused deny the charges at all stages of questioning, but the testimonies of the chil­dren match closely with each other,” Ms. Sony said, adding that a medical examination had re­vealed an incriminating scar on the penis of one of the boys.

“Other children’s written testimony was included as proof to show that the accused, Udo Sa­biniewicz, committed a crime by putting the children’s genitals in his mouth and playing with the boys’ genitals.”

In his own concluding statement, Mr. Sabiniewicz—who also goes by the name Theodor Symon—railed against Cambo­dia’s judicial system, turning to­ward the gallery as he complained about his treatment.

“As a foreigner, you are facing the nightmare justice here; you are completely helpless,” he said, raising his voice. “I mean this is serious: no arrest warrant, no flagrante situation, evidence which is pure human rights violation.”

“This is what you are facing when you invest in Cambodia. I hope my case will be a big warning to everyone in the world,” he continued.

“For god’s sake, don’t come here. They let you die here. You are just treated like a dog.”

Earlier in proceedings, Mr. Sa­biniewicz’s lawyer, Poeung Ya­khiep, accused APLE of helping to frame his client—a charge that was denied by the organization’s director, Samleang Seila.

“That’s absolutely not true. He reg­ularly accuses the victims of set­ting him up and later on he di­rected that accusation at APLE,” Mr. Seila said. “We believe [the evidence] was entirely strong. The victims have given consistent statements throughout the process.”

A verdict is due on March 11.

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