The operator of the child pornography website sold the content worldwide. Drawing. - Clément Follain / 20 Minutes

A South Korean court on Monday rejected an extradition request to the United States for a man convicted of running one of the largest child pornography websites in the world. Son Jong-woo, operator of the South Korean site "Welcome to Video", sold its content worldwide on the Darknet for bitcoins, a digital cryptocurrency.

Convicted of violating South Korean child protection laws, he served an 18-month sentence ending in April. He has remained in detention ever since he has also been charged in Washington and could face a much longer sentence in the United States.

South Korean justice justifies refusal

Customers have been sentenced to 15 years in prison in the United States, contrasting with the light sentence served by Son Jong-woo in South Korea, which has prompted calls to toughen South Korean legislation against child pornography.

The Seoul High Court justified the rejection of the extradition request by arguing that his departure abroad could "hinder the South Korean investigation into sexual content," reported the Yonhap news agency. . "The decision should not be interpreted as a way of exonerating him," added the court.

338 people arrested worldwide

According to the United States Department of Justice, 338 people linked to the site were arrested worldwide last year, including in South Korea, the United States, Canada, Spain and Brazil.

Qualified by the US government as "the largest market for the sexual exploitation of children in terms of content volumes", the Son site provided access to 250,000 pornographic videos for payments in bitcoins.

It was one of the first Darknet sites (hidden networks not referenced by conventional search engines) to sell child exploitation videos for bitcoins, the site claiming that they were downloaded more than one million times, according to the United States Department of Justice.


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  • Justice
  • Child pornography
  • Pedophilia
  • United States
  • South Korea
  • World