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Swiss couple convicted for child sex abuse in India

An Indian court in Mumbai has sentenced a Swiss couple to seven years jail after finding them guilty of molesting and sexually abusing street children.

This content was published on March 29, 2003 - 13:15

The two Swiss, both in their fifties, were arrested in 2000 for taking nude photographs of poor street children who approached them for food and money.

The husband and wife were also found guilty of six charges including kidnapping, outraging the modesty of young children, attempting to destroy evidence and criminal intention to induce children to perform immoral acts.

They were also ordered to pay compensation of 5,000 rupees (SFr144) each to three girls.

The judge ruled that the defence lawyers could not break evidence that the couple was taking, possessing and exhibiting photographs, adding that the two Swiss were caught red-handed.

Appeal expected

The two years that the couple from central Switzerland have spent in jail since their arrest will be counted as part of their sentences.

The couple's defence lawyer said his clients, who had pleaded innocent, would appeal the sentences.

Police arrested the couple at an upscale Mumbai resort in December 2000 while they were filming naked girls, aged from eight to nine. The girls were among 21 witnesses who gave evidence at the trial over the past month.

Prosecutors alleged the couple lured the children with toys, clothes and food. They told the court that the two Swiss took pornographic photographs of the children, and sent them to websites abroad.

The husband is an auditor and his wife is a nurse.

swissinfo with agencies

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