Authorities in the Netherlands said they were investigating a Dutch pedophile facing child sex abuse charges in Siem Reap province in a probe that local investigators say extends to a 2013 case that was thrown out by the provincial court.
Sebastiaan Reuijl, 42, was convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in the Netherlands in 2004 and moved to Cambodia several years later. Police and NGO investigators said he continued to abuse young children while living in Siem Reap City, but was acquitted in separate cases in 2011 and 2013.
He was arrested again in July for molesting his 4-year-old neighbor on multiple occasions, according to police. He is currently in prison awaiting trial on charges of “indecent acts” committed against the boy.
In a statement last month, the Netherlands’ National Office of the Public Prosecutor announced that Dutch police assisted Cambodian authorities during a search of Mr. Reuijl’s Siem Reap City residence that resulted in his arrest on July 30.
The statement also said Dutch officials were investigating the alleged abuse of two Cambodian boys by Mr. Reuijl between 2009 and 2013.
“The complaint was filed by a Dutch lawyer in the name of and with the permission of the two boys,” it said.
The prosecutor’s office declined to provide further information about the case, but according to local child protection group Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), the boys were the victims in the case thrown out by the Siem Reap court in 2013.
“The boys were from the 2013 case, not the recent case,” APLE country director Samleang Seila said last month.
He said the investigation in the Netherlands was opened at the*request of Dutch lawyer Goran Sluiter, a member of the defense team for former Khmer Rouge official Ao An at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of*Cambodia.
“He has the experience, he has the knowledge and he was willing to help us with the case,” Mr. Seila said.
In an email, Mr. Sluiter said he was representing two boys in a Dutch court, but not on behalf of APLE. He declined to discuss details of the alleged abuse, but said there was “very strong evidence against the suspect.”
“If the prosecution service deems there is enough evidence, the case will go to trial in Holland, even if the accused would be absent,” he added.
Described as a “very dangerous person” by Dutch investigative journalist Pe*ter de Vries, Mr. Reuijl was acquitted in the 2011 case when the Siem Reap court decided there was insufficient evidence to convict him of molesting four boys and a girl between the ages of 7 and 13. He was acquitted in the 2013 case for the same reason.
Reached on Friday, provincial court spokesman Yin Srang declined to comment on the investigation in the Netherlands.
“But if he needs to be extradited to his country, the Foreign Affairs Ministry or the Justice Ministry will consider that,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Sek Odom)
kohlbacher@cambodiadaily.com
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