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Brit apologises in trial over ‘porn dancing’

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Daniel Jones is escorted by a prison guard at a court in Siem Reap. AFP

A British expat facing up to a year in prison for promoting a pool party with images deemed “pornographic” apologised during a court hearing yesterday, saying he did not know the advertisements breached an indecency law.

Daniel Jones, 31, was among 10 foreigners arrested in January after police raided their pool bash at a private villa in Siem Reap, a popular hub for tourists near the Angkor Wat temple ruins.

A Siem Reap court ultimately dropped charges against the others but has pursued a case against party organiser Mr Jones, who has been held in jail for nearly two months and is accused of producing pornographic materials to promote the party.

In the trial’s first hearing yesterday, Mr Jones admitted to advertising the “Let’s Get Wet” event on Facebook with images from a previous pool party.

He insisted that there was no nudity or sex involved, but apologised for offending Cambodian people.

“Now I understand in Cambodia that these pictures are not good,” he told the court, adding that he did not take the photos himself.

Prosecutor Seng Samnang said any images that encourage sexual activity are illegal and against Cambodian culture.

“I did not understand Cambodian law. I am very sorry for that,” Mr Jones responded.

A police witness said during the trial that cops raided the party to prevent acts of sex, adding that they found some condoms at the villa.

Mr Jones said he had organised a total of four parties for tourists before his arrest, charging attendees $5 for transportation, a free drink and T-shirt.

When a prosecutor showed him images he was accused of spreading on Facebook, Mr Jones said that most belonged to a different event group which had been shut down in November.

Defence lawyer Suong Sophea urged the judge to consider the impact on tourism when penning a verdict for Jones.

“If such activities are considered offences, it will affect the tourism in Cambodia,” he said.

No date has been set for a verdict.

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