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Police informer in court on child porn charge

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19:09 CET+01:00
The man was a paid informer of the Swedish police and tried to draw up similar agreements with the German and British forces.

But now the man is accused of being one of Europe's leading distributors of child pornography. The trial, which opened in Umeå today, concerns whether the 31 year old was double-dealing. Was he earning money from child pornography at the same time as he was a paid police informer?

"He has sought to financially profit from the trading of child pornography, he's enabled others to download and distribute films and pictures. He's been a leading figure," said prosecutor Marina Amonsson.

During the first part of the trial, the man concealed his head with a black hood, which the presiding judge then insisted he remove.

The 31 year old was suspected of sexual assault six years ago. Child pornography was found in his home on encrypted floppy disks. According to the prosecutor, he admitted at the time that he had been interested in child pornography since the age of 15, but he claimed that he now had new interests in life. At the same time, he offered his services to help the National Criminal Investigation Department (Rikskriminalpolisen) investigate a paedophile network.

In 2001 a European police investigation into child pornography opened. Much of the information came from Sweden. The prosecutor showed how Europol received intelligence about a hierarchical network, in which members had nicknames such as G-man, Pappa Doc and Yoda.

G-man travelled around, recording films and carrying out serious assaults on small children. G-man was part of a special group which produced films. A paedophile has testified that the 31 year old is G-man.

The collaboration with the 31 year old appeared to pay dividends. He was present at a meeting with Swedish and German police in Örnsköldsvik in 2003. About a month later, the 31 year old was in e-mail contact with the British police. It was then stipulated that a condition of any collaboration was that the 31 year abstained from criminal activity. But suspicions were aroused about whether he really was keeping within the law.

During the trial, which is scheduled to go on until 10th April, the prosecution will seek to prove the 31 year old's duplicity.

TT/Andy Butterworth

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