Prosecution seeking pecuniary punishment for Kender

Author Kaur Kender appeared in court at Harju County Court on Wednesday. March 22, 2017. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The state prosecutor on Wednesday applied for a pecuniary punishment in the case currently behing handled by Harju County Court against author Kaur Kender, who is accused of producing child pornography.

North District Prosecutor Lea Pähkel noted that Kender's guilt in producing child pornography has been proven and that he must be sentenced to a pecuniary punishment of €3,939.

According to the prosecutor, Kender should be ordered to pay for the costs of an expert literary assessment, however the state must cover the costs of the defendant's psychiatric evaluation.

Litigation will continue on Thursday with the arguments of the defendant's lawyer Paul Keres.

'Untited 12'

The North District Prosecutor's Office has accused Kender of having produced child pornography. The subject of the trial is his short story "Untitled 12," which was published in 2014 and 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 April 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.

According to Estonia's Penal Code, the manufacture of child pornography is punishable by a pecuniary punishment or up to three years' imprisonment.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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