Cambodia Court Grants Bail To 7 Foreigners Held Over Dance Party

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Officers who conducted the raid initially detained nearly 90 people, but released the majority of them soon afterwards.

A New Zealand man in a group of 10 foreigners detained by Cambodian officials for "producing pornography" has been released on bail.

The 10 foreigners - five British men, two Canadian women, one New Zealand man, one Dutchman, and one Norwegian man - were arrested on January 25 at a villa in Siem Reap province for allegedly organizing a "pornographic dancing" and charged with pornographic production, a crime that could face up to one year in prison if convicted.

Ouch Sopheaktra, another lawyer for those arrested, said the three remaining suspects in detention were from Britain, the Netherlands and Norway.

Those released can not leave the country yet as their passports were taken away, a court spokesman said.

But the location of past violations has been inside the ancient city, not in the adjoining town of Siem Reap, a popular party destination lined with bars catering to foreign tourists.

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Police originally detained nearly 90 people, but only 10 were held in custody. Police said those caught in the raid had been "dancing pornographically" and offended Cambodian standards of morality.

They have been charged for production of pornography under Article 39 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, which carries a maximum prison sentence of one year and a fine from about $50 to $500.

Sourng Sophea, a lawyer for one of the detainees, said last week that some of the photos posted by his clients showed them at a party, some drinking by a swimming pool and some of the women in bikinis, but none showed them having sex or exposing themselves.

"I'm very disappointed in the way I was portrayed", she said. "It's just one mistake". Ananth Baliga did not identify them by name, but said they were considered the organizers of the event.

He said he had not yet made a decision to appeal for bail for the other three because their cases were "a bit more complicated" and he needed more time to consider their situation.

The British Foreign Office confirmed on Thursday that four British nationals were among those released on bail.

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