San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Trial of Suspected Pedophile UnderWay

SUSPECTED pedophile ArthurKanev, the first U.S. citizen to be extraditedto Costa Rica from the UnitedStates since the two countries signed anextradition treaty in 1982, was in courtthis week facing charges related to a hostof pedophilic activities, Judicial Branchspokeswoman Sandra Castro said.Among the charges Kanev faces areproviding drugs to minors, corruption ofminors and having sexual relations withwilling children ages 12-15, according toProsecutor Miguel Abarca of theProsecutor’s Office in the central Pacificport town of Quepos (TT, April 30).Castro referred specific questionsabout the trial to the court in Quepos,where Kanev is being tried. However,representatives of the Quepos courtreferred questions back to Castro, in SanJosé, except to say that the trial, whichoriginally had been scheduled for the lastweek of August but began Monday, couldlast as long as three weeks.Court officials said the trial is open tothe public.The internationally infamous suspectwas first arrested in Quepos in 1999 forallegedly possessing some 280 homemadephotographs of nude, provocativelyposed children ages 11-16 (TT, Jan. 8,1999). When released on bail, Kanev fledthe country, said Alejandro Cedeño,Consul General of the Costa RicanEmbassy in Washington, D.C., the officethat processed Kanev’s extradition (TT,May 28).In December 2000, Kanev was interviewedon the U.S. TV-news magazineprogram “20/20,” when the program ranan exposé on corruption of minors inCosta Rica. Kanev told an ABC reporterhe had “no qualms” about what he haddone in Costa Rica (TT, Dec. 15, 2000).Kanev, a former dentist, eludedauthorities for more than two years, butwas arrested in Florida in July, 2003, afterhis photo was shown on the U.S. TV program“America’s Most Wanted.”

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