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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cambodia, a 'haven' for sex offenders

Phnom Penh - A German man has been jailed in Cambodia for 15 years after being convicted of sexually abusing a girl while visiting the capital Phnom Penh, court officials said on Thursday.

Walter Munz, of Stuttgart, was arrested last year when police raided the guesthouse he was staying at and found him in his room with the 13-year-old victim, judge Sao Meach said.

Munz, 61, repeatedly assaulted the girl and was charged with debauchery, a criminal charge covering a wide range of sex offences, Sao Meach said.

"I sentenced him to 15 years in jail for committing debauchery against the girl," Sao Meach said, adding that Munz was also ordered to pay a $7 000 fine to the victim.

Munz denied the charges during his trial, but the judge said doctors had confirmed that the girl was sexually abused.

Samleang Seila, director of the French child welfare group Action Pour Les Enfants, welcomed the court's decision.

"The punishment is a good message for those foreigners who wish to abuse children in Cambodia," he said.

Dozens of foreigners have been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries since Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia push in 2003 in a bid to shake off its reputation as a haven for sex predators.

A Russian businessman accused of sexually abusing at least 19 Cambodian girls went on trial earlier this week in the country's largest-ever paedophilia prosecution.

While lauding the government's efforts to fight child sex crimes, officials, including foreign diplomats, have urged authorities to also target Cambodian paedophiles, who are thought to make up more than half of all sex offenders.
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MTV in Cambodia 3G, Japan ads

NEW YORK -- Viacom's MTV Networks Asia is partnering with Shockwave in Japan to develop new advertising models and has licensed its first mobile content in Cambodia to telecom Cadcomms.

MTV said Thursday that Phnom Penh-based Cambodia Advance Communications will begin offering MTV and Nickelodeon content to its 3G platform subscribers on March 15 under the brand qb.

Video content will be provided to mobile subscribers via mobile television and video-on-demand formats.

"The MTV brand and its position in the local market is very strong and it fits very well with our brand and strategy in targeting the young and music inspired segment of the market," CADCOMMS CEO Morten Eriksen said in a statement released jointly with Robert Kim, MTV Networks Asia's senior director for digital media and video broadcast services.

Subscribers will be able to choose from such content as MTV's "Pimp My Ride" and Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Dora the Explorer."

The service will kick off with a qb goes LIVE concert featuring Stacie Orrico and local artists from the Olympic Stadium in the capital.

In Japan, MTV Networks Japan K.K., entered into a strategic partnership with Shockwave Entertainment to create a new advertising business model that will add value to Japanese advertisers and consumers, the Viacom unit said in a statement issued from Tokyo.

Shockwave, one of the largest Japanese entertainment Web sites for casual gamers and animation fans, and will collaborate to widen their reach in a partnership that will try to encourage the transfer of existing members of one Web site to the other, increasing the audience pool for advertisers, the companies said.

The partnership also will develop "advergames," free online games used for advertising. By integrating brand logos and services into games, advertisers hope to increase brand exposure.

"This alliance will blend our brand power with Shockwave's compelling entertainment destinations, further strengthening our ability to offer advertisers innovative and unique solutions," MTV Networks Japan K.K. Peter Bulllard said.

MTV and Shockwave also plan to provide multiplatform advertising solutions that encompass cable TV and satellite broadcasts in addition to online properties.
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Cambodia to host meeting on ASEAN integration in 2015

PHNOM PENH, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Sixty officials from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam will meet on March 17-20 in Siem Reap province to boost their progress on commercial law and trade reform, said a press release from the U.S. Embassy on Thursday.

They will also discuss approaches to working together on reforms that will support the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asia Nations) integration in 2015, it added.

"They will review the findings and best practices identified in the SEA CLIR report named A Regional Agenda for Shared Growth," it said, adding that SEA CLIR stands for the South East Asia Commercial Legal and Institutional Reform and Trade Diagnostics Report.

The meeting will bring together public and private-sector officials to meet in small groups to discuss the best regional legal and institutional models to meet the challenges in Southeast Asian trade and business, it said.

Topics will include building a stronger environment for doing business, enhancing cross-border trade, and deepening regional and global integration, it added.
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