BANGKOK – A 52-year-old Australian man facing pedophile charges in Thailand is to face a Thai court in November, legal sources say.
Ian Potterton, from Sydney, was arrested in November 2012 as he prepared to board a flight to Australia and now faces charges of “indecency” with a child under 15 years of age as well as a second count of mental torture of a child.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigations had led to a raid on his Sydney premises on October 31, 2012. The AFP seized “electronic devices” after it was alleged Potterton had emailed photos of a naked young boy to Australia.
Potterton has acknowledged the existence of the files but says the pictures were non-sexual in nature.
Thai police investigators have alleged Potterton, while in Thailand, had travelled with a Thai family and abused their seven-year-old nephew while in northern Thailand.
Potterton has strenuously denied all the charges.
Earlier, Australian police had indicated Potterton may be extradited to Australia, but an AFP spokesman said Potterton would now be tried in Thailand with the criminal court appearance on November 18, 2013.
If Potterton is found guilty he faces a possible jail term of 10 years along with substantial fines.