Kender trial continues behind closed doors

Kaur Kender. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)

The trial of writer Kaur Kender on charges of child pornography continued behind closed doors on Monday. Kender is accused of having produced and distributed child pornography with his short story, called “Untitled 12”.

After Monday’s session, press spokeswoman Kristina Ots of the Harju County court confirmed to ERR that the trial would continue on Mar. 22. “At the beginning of the session during the examination of further evidence, the trial will be closed to the public. Once the court finishes reviewing the evidence, the trial will continue publicly,” Ots said.

The trial was interrupted last year because the court ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Kaur Kender. Psychiatrist Katrin Eino as well as psychologist Tiina Kompus concluded in their detailed expertise that Kender is not suffering from a personality disorder, and that he does not show any cognitive deficits or other symptoms that constitute a reason to stop the trial.

District prosecutor Lea Pähkel requested the expertise last year after Kender had stated in court that he was suffering from onsets of rage.

Background of the case

Kender is accused of having produced child pornography. The subject of the trial is his short story “Untitled 12”, which he published in 2014 and which was subsequently banned.
Kender’s short story about a pedophile featured what has been called “graphic descriptions” of the sexual abuse of children.

The prosecutor argues that paragraph 178 of the Penal Code, based on which Kender was charged, does not specify that real-life victims have to be involved, and points out that people have been found guilty for the same crime as recently as Apr. 6, 2016.

The defense argues that Kender has been charged arbitrarily and treated unfairly, as the same text the prosecutor considered to be child pornography was distributed and published by another 47 people, among them several well-known members of Estonian society.

Kender points to other literary works to demonstrate that he is being singled out arbitrarily. Both Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” as well as the Marquis de Sade’s “120 Days of Sodom” are freely available, and Nabokov has even portrayed as pleasant what Kender himself portrayed as disgusting, the defense argues.

The defense also argues that there is no basis for prosecution, as neither intent nor the matter of the place where the supposed crime was committed has been addressed. There is no proof that Kender intended to create child pornography, his defense argues.

Kender pleaded not guilty, and has said that he doesn’t understand in what way his work is supposed to be child pornography.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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