A National Police official is urging the wife of a Cambodian news fixer for Russia Today, who is currently detained in Thailand after he fled Cambodia, to cooperate with authorities after she claimed that her husband was innocent.
Rath Rott Mony, the news fixer, fled the country with his family last week after the RT documentary “My Mother Sold Me”, which he helped produce, went viral and angered the government, which dismissed it as fake news after sources featured in it retracted statements over virginity being sold.
Mr Rott Mony was then detained by Thai authorities on Friday and officials have said that he could face deportation.
Long Kimheang, Mr Rott Mony’s wife, earlier this week expressed concerns regarding her husband’s detention.
“My husband did not distort the truth and he did everything to respect the law,” Ms Kimheang said. “I fear that he will be put in jail after he is deported.”
Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun yesterday clarified that Mr Rott Mony is wanted for questioning and not to be immediately put in prison.
Lt Gen Kim Khoeun added that Ms Kimheang had nothing to do with the production of the documentary, but she may have evidence that could help clear her husband’s name.
“She claimed that her husband’s arrest was a form of injustice, so we are welcoming her to cooperate with us in order to find justice for her husband,” he said. “We want to know what she has to support her argument and prove that her husband did nothing wrong.”
“I think Mr Rott Mony felt guilty, that’s why he fled to Thailand after the film went viral,” he added. “We did not want to arrest him, we just wanted to invite him to explain to us what his role was and what the purpose of the documentary was.”
Lt Gen Kim Khoeun noted that Un Sreypich, a source in the documentary, has also been called to aid authorities.
“We were filming based on true stories. Mr Rott Mony did nothing wrong,” Ms Sreypich said on Tuesday. “I hope the government leaves him alone. I feel pity for him and his family.”
Ms Sreypich declined to comment yesterday as she feared for her safety.
Ms Kimheang yesterday said she and her husband never received any notification from the authorities over the documentary and that they fled to Thailand due to fear for their safety. She has since returned.
“I do not trust Cambodian authorities. They would destroy all evidence if I had disclosed it to them,” she said, adding that she could be in danger if she agreed to collaborate with police. “RT and my husband took all the right steps before publishing the video. I think the police can instead ask other officials because the other officials have proof that RT was permitted to produce the film.”
Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday said police must conduct a thorough investigation because the RT documentary had dishonoured Cambodia.
“Until now, we cannot conclude whether the documentary is real or not,” Mr Kheng said. “We need more sources because some sources said it was not real. After that, we will take action to respond to it.”