PE couple in dock for child porn ring links

INDEPENDENT MEDIA

File photo: Independent Media

Port Elizabeth – A Port Elizabeth couple accused of being part of a syndicate that distributed images of babies being abused appeared briefly in the city’s magistrate’s court on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old man and 22-year-old woman from Westering are alleged to be part of an international child pornography ring that distributed footage of the rape, torture and murder of babies and newborns.

State Advocate, Jason Thysse, previously told the court the matter was sensitive in nature and that an investigating team in Johannesburg was working together with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Belgian police.

During court proceedings on Tuesday, Thysse requested the matter be postponed as the couple’s lawyer Paul Roelofse had taken ill and could not be present at court.

On Monday, an investigating team from Gauteng, the state and Roelofse viewed sensitive material, namely the “pornographic material”, which will not form part of the docket.

Charges against the couple relate to the importing, possession and distribution of films or publications which contain depictions or descriptions which encourage or promote child pornography or the sexual exploitation of children.

At their first court appearance in April last year, the man told reporters that the media were blowing the case out of proportion and did not know the full story. He said people were judging him.

At the time, the commander of the Gauteng-based Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, Heila Niemand, made a special trip to Port Elizabeth for the couple’s court appearance.

She said that after the arrest of the PE couple, 81 other leads were being followed up internationally.

She also said at the time that …

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