British man involved in ‘dirty dancing’ case goes on trial

SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AP) — A Cambodian court held a one-day trial Thursday of a British man who was among a group of foreigners arrested for allegedly posting photos on social media of sexually suggestive dancing at a party.

The judge in Siem Reap provincial court said the verdict in the case against Daniel Jones would be announced later.

Jones, 31, has been charged with producing pornography. He was among 10 Westerners arrested in late January for posting the photos and faces up to one year in prison if convicted.

The other nine were released on bail and deported last month. Court spokesman Yin Srang said Thursday that charges against them have been dropped.

A lawyer for Jones, Ouch Sopheaktra, said he was the only one on trial because he had organized the party.

The 10 Westerners — five from the United Kingdom, two from Canada, and one each from Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand — were detained when police raided the commercially organized party at a rented villa in Siem Reap town and found people dancing by a swimming pool. Siem Reap is near the famous Angkor Wat temple complex.

Police said those caught in the raid had been “dancing pornographically” and offended Cambodian standards of morality.

Jones told the court that he did not know that the pictures he posted on Facebook would offend Cambodian culture.

“I don’t understand about Cambodian law and I am very sorry,” he said.

He denied that anyone had sex or used drugs at the Jan. 25 party.

Ouch Sopheaktra said there was not enough evidence to convict Jones because the case relied on the posted photos.

“As a foreigner, my client thinks that the pictures that were posted on social media were not unlawful, as he thought those photos were used only as advertisements. I also don’t see those photographs as basis for the court to use as the main evidence to accuse and convict him,” he said.

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