A senior Interior Ministry official yesterday said police are continuing to investigate the Russia Today sex trafficking documentray that landed a news fixer behind bars awaiting trial on incitement to discriminate charges.
Chou Bun Eng, a secretary of state with the Interior Ministry and vice chairwoman of the National Authority Against Human Trafficking, yesterday during a workshop said police suspect Roth Rott Mony, the news fixer, did not act alone when he aided the production of the film.
“Police are continuing the investigation on this documentary because we do not believe that Roth Rott Mony did it alone,” Ms Bun Eng said. “We must find out the truth since we can’t yet tell if the documentary is fake or not.”
The government dismissed the “My Mother Sold Me” documentary as fake news after sources in it retracted their statements about girls’ virginity being sold to feed their impoverished families.
Kav Malay and her daughter Khieng Sreymich retracted statements that Ms Sreymich’s virginity was sold and said they were duped by Mr Rott Mony to be in the film when questioned by police over its claims.
Ms Bun Eng said she has heard contradicting testimonies, both from the sources featured in the film, and Long Kimheang, the wife of Mr Rott Mony who says that her husband did not distort the truth and did everything to respect the law.
“There were different answers. We need to figure out who is lying because the video impacted Cambodia’s reputation,” she said. “If it was true, the mother [Kav Malay] could be penalised.”
Nak Sothea, director of Entrak Tevy High School where a portion of the film was shot, yesterday said Russia Today had obtained a permission letter from City Hall prior to filming.
“I saw the letter so I allowed the RT crew to film,” Mr Sothea said. “I was told that it’s about a family’s life after the Khmer Rouge regime, but it turned out to be a sex trafficking documentary.”
In a request letter obtained by Khmer Times earlier this month, Mr Rott Mony said the RT crew would conduct interviews with women and girls who were freed from sex trafficking.
The letter also said that the crew would be interviewing government officials and NGOs.
Sam Titseyha, Mr Rott Mony’s lawyer, yesterday said the documents could prove that his client is telling the truth.
“There were clauses in the contracts in which sources noted that they were telling the truth to the RT crew,” Mr Titseyha said. “I think it might be enough to back Mr Rott Mony’s testimony.”