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Fleeing French paedophile arrested in Cambodia

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Reuters/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian police have arrested a Frenchman who fled France after being convicted of raping a minor, officials in Phnom Penh said Sunday.


Francis Leroun, 54, who fled France six years ago to escape arrest, was arrested Saturday in a rented house in southern Cambodia at the request of a French court, according to provincial prosecutor Bou Bun Hang.

Leroun escaped in 2004 but was tried in absentia and sentenced to 12 years in jail, a French embassy official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. He said the embassy would ask the Cambodian court to extradite Leroun to France within two months.

Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia push in 2003 to try to shake off its reputation as a sex predators' haven.

Dozens of foreigners have since been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries.