The Supreme Court yesterday heard an appeal for bail by Russia Today news fixer Rath Rott Mony which he had filed prior to his conviction over the production of a sex trafficking documentary dismissed as fake news by the government.
Mr Rott Mony had applied for the bail when he was charged last year by Phnom Penh Municipal Court over the production of “My Mother Sold Me”, which told the story of three young girls whose virginities were reportedly sold by their mothers.
The municipal court rejected the bail application and an appeal to the Appeal Court on January 31also failed, prompting Mr Rott Mony’s lawyer to file an appeal to the Supreme Court in February.
On June 26, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Mr Rott Mony to two years in prison after finding him guilty of being involved in the production of the documentary.
During yesterday’s hearing, Mr Rott Mony told the court that he wants to be on bail and promised to cooperate with the authorities and the court.
“I will not flee anywhere. I will cooperate with the authorities and the court,” he said.
Sam Titseyha, Mr Rott Mony’s lawyer, told the court that he had appealed to the Supreme Court in February before the municipal court sentenced his client to two years in prison.
Supreme Court prosecutor Nouv Monychot told the court that Mr Rott Mony had already been sentenced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court and his appeal for bail is now moot.
“The defendant’s appeal is not reasonable because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has already sentenced him and according to the law, he cannot be released on bail,” he said.
A verdict is due on October 28.
Mr Rott Mony is currently appealing his conviction and had his first hearing at the Appeal Court delayed earlier this month after the court decided it could not move forward without the presence of witnesses in the case.