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

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A Cambodian court has started the trial of a British man who was among a group of foreigners arrested for allegedly posting photos on social media of sexually suggestive dancing.

Daniel Jones, who has been charged with producing pornography, appeared before the Siem Reap provincial court.

He was among 10 Westerners arrested in January for allegedly posting the photos from a party, and faces up to a year in prison if convicted.

One of the lawyers for the defendant, Ouch Sopheaktra, said 31-year-old Mr Jones was not granted bail and is the only one on trial because he organised the party.

The other nine were released on bail and were ordered to be deported last month.

Siem Reap provincial court spokesman Yin Srang said the court has set a one-day trial, but he did not know whether the verdict would be issued the same day.

He said the charges against the other nine have already been dropped.

The 10 Westerners — five from the UK, two from Canada and one each from Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand — were detained when police raided a commercially organised party at a rented villa in Siem Reap town and found people dancing by a swimming pool at an event described as a pub crawl.

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.

Mr Sopheaktra said he will argue that there was not enough evidence to convict Mr Jones because the charge relies on images of Westerners posted on social media to advertise a party.

“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.”

Those in the group who have spoken publicly have denied the allegations.

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