Two suspected paedophiles went on trial in northern France Thursday accused of plotting to kidnap, rape and torture a little girl and boasting of their plans on the Internet.
Christian Cadart, a 49-year-old telecoms technician from the northern Rouen region and Herve Limbour, 41, a painter-decorator from the Riviera city of Nice, were arrested in May last year after a tip-off from a fellow web user.
According to the prosecution, the two men plotted in detail over an Internet messenging service how they would kidnap, sexually torture and possibly kill a child. They face 10 years in jail if convicted.
They were nabbed after a Belgian Internet user alerted police in his country, who put the men under surveillance.
Cadart, who went by the pseudoym "Herrio", was arrested as he showed an undercover officer the disused electric power transformer where he said he planned to sequester his victim.
His alleged accomplice Limbour, who called himself "Diablo", was arrested after making telephone calls describing sexual assaults on girls in his home town.
Both men insist the kidnap plans were a "fantasy" never intended to be carried out.
A third man is in the dock at the two-day trial accused of possessing and sharing child pornography.