The Appeal Court has set October 7 to hear the case of news fixer Rath Rott Mony, who aided the production of the Russia Today documentary “My Mother Sold Me”.
On June 26, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Koy Sao sentenced Mr Rott Mony to two years in prison.
Mr Rott Mony was convicted of incitement to discriminate after he was found guilty of being involved in the production of the sex trafficking documentary dismissed as fake news by the government.
“We invite Sam Tithseyha, the defence lawyer of Rath Rott Mony, to attend a hearing on October 7, 2pm, to review the conviction of incitement to discriminate,” court clerk Loek Chanponleu said in a letter dated September 16, 2019.
Mr Tithseyha yesterday said he will attend the hearing and urged the Appeal Court to free his client, noting that Mr Rott Mony was hired as a translator for the production.
“I will try to help him regain freedom. I am now gathering evidence to prove that my client was just a translator not a producer to the documentary film,” he said. “There are supporting documents that I will reveal and urge the court to drop the conviction.”
During his trial, Phnom Penh Municipal Court identified Mr Rott Mony as a producer when his name was listed in the film’s credits.
Mr Rott Mony was arrested in December after he fled to Thailand in order to avoid prosecution. He spent months in pre-trial detention after his bail request was denied.
His wife Long Kimheang yesterday said she hoped the court will provide justice to her husband and release him from jail, calling on the government to address the problem uncovered in the film.
“The film is evidence to alert the Cambodian government [that] it is time to take serious action on human trafficking in Cambodia,” she said.
The news documentary told the story of three young girls whose virginities were reportedly sold by their mothers. After it went viral, a mother and daughter featured in it retracted their statements following police questioning.
Khieng Sreymich, one of the girls featured in the film, yesterday said she was not bothered about Mr Rott Mony’s appeal.
“I don’t care about him and I do not want to appear at the court,” she said.