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24 June 2009

German man faces child sex charges in East Timor

Agence France-Presse - 6/23/2009 10:03 AM GMT - An 80-year-old German man appeared in court in East Timor on Tuesday facing child sex charges involving an 11-year-old boy.

Erich Steiner entered the court with a walking stick and was escorted by a police officer to a holding cell.

The retired engineer was arrested in Dili on Sunday after a joint investigation by UN police and Interpol, court documents showed.

The German is alleged to have paid the boy for sexual favours on more than four occasions, according to the documents and a source involved in the case.

Steiner, who gave his address as Songkhla province, southern Thailand, has been travelling in and out of East Timor since May 2006, the source said.

The investigation is ongoing and no date has been set for trial. The UN mission in East Timor had no comment.

Steiner's arrest comes a little more than a week after the June 12 arrest of a Brazilian man for the alleged sexual assault of three underage girls in East Timor.

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