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Pattaya Daily News

11 January 2008 :: 20:01:33 pm 12187

Canadian Sex Crimes Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Canadian pedophile suspect Christopher Paul Neil pleaded not guilty in Bangkok Friday ( 11 Jan 2008) to charges relating to the molesting of young boys.
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Neil denied the charges at a pre-trial court hearing in Bangkok.

Ever since Christopher Paul Neil was arrested by Thai authorities last fall, he has held to his innocence and he did so again today.

The Bangkok criminal court has set March 10 as the start of Neil’s trial. In shackles and dressed in an orange prison uniform, Neil was smiling Friday as he was transferred out of the courthouse into a prison van. “Have a nice day, guys,” he said to reporters.

Neil has apparently not yet secured a defense lawyer and the court officials said they would appoint one if he does not get one by March.

Canadian Christopher Paul Neil sits in the Bangkok Criminal
Court on January 11, 2008.REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang   

The 32-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C. was arrested last October after an international manhunt.

The search was launched after German police descrambled Internet pictures of a man allegedly involved in sex acts with children. Neil was arrested after the man’s photo was then released to the public.

Police reportedly found a variety of images posted online taken in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

After he was apprehended, The police initially charged Neil with sexually abusing a boy, then aged 9, in 2003.

The boy’s older brother, who was 14 at the time, soon after came forward with allegations that he too was abused.

A statement issued by Bangkok Criminal Court said Neil pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of:

Taking a child under 15 without parental consent with intent to molest, punishable by up to 20 years in prison;
Illegal detention, punishable by up to three years;
Sexual abuse of a child under 15, punishable by up to 10 years.

Evidence against Neil

According to CTV’s Chao interviewed Neil when he was first arrested. “He seemed to argue and believe that the Thai evidence wasn’t that strong in this case,” said Chao. “But at the same time he was very guarded with his emotions.” Chao said Neil was concerned about how fair of a trial he would receive in Thailand.

“Thai authorities occasionally are accused of perhaps making political decisions as opposed to the rule of law,” said Chao. “It’s a high likelihood that they want to look good on the international scene and that seems to be what Christopher Paul Neil is very worried about.”

If found guilty, Neil faces up to 20 years in prison.

If not, Neil could next face extradition to Vietnam or Cambodia where authorities may seek his questioning.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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