Suspected human trafficking filmmaker brought to court

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rath Rott Mony has been sent to court following his extradition from Thailand. Photo supplied

An alleged documentary film producer was sent to court on Thursday after being extradited to Cambodia from Thailand, a court official said.

“The court will review and take action on the case,” Phnom Penh municipal court spokesperson Ly Sophana said on Thursday.

Rath Rott Mony, the 47-year-old Cambodian Construction Workers Trade Union Federation president, was arrested in Thailand on Friday at the request of Cambodia.

He was allegedly one of the producers of My Mother Sold Me, a film on sex trafficking in Cambodia, made by Russian news network RT.

Deputy National Police Chief Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed on Thursday that Rott Mony had been brought to Cambodia from Thailand.

“Yes, he was brought to Cambodia. He is under the control of the police, but I do not have details because I am not the one who questioned him."

“We don’t say he is a producer or what kind of connection he had [to the film]. That’s why we requested him to clarify, but he fled. When he fled we were forced to bring him back to clarify the allegations in order to finish the case,” Kim Khoeun said.

He said he did not know what crime Rott Mony would be charged with, or indeed whether he would be charged, as that would be decided by the court.

Kim Khoeun declined to reveal when Rott Mony was brought to Cambodia, but Rott Mony’s wife Long Kimheang said her husband left Thailand on Wednesday afternoon.

“They left yesterday [Wednesday] at 3pm by helicopter. But the transfer was done in secret. Even I, his wife, do not know where my husband was sent to. I am sure he arrived in Cambodia but I don’t know where he was then taken to. Our relatives in Phnom Penh are looking for him everywhere,” Kimheang said on Thursday from Thailand, where she is staying to avoid Cambodian police questioning.

She said her husband was a fixer and translator for the documentary, which depicted a Cambodian mother who allegedly sold her daughter’s virginity. Kimheang said the police did not invite her husband to answer questions, but instead called the film’s actors.

“I think the government should investigate according to legal procedure, without having to arrest him. I think the approach they have taken is wrong,” she said.

She requested the government release her husband and begin standard legal procedures by calling her husband for questioning. She said she was also worried that her husband would be pressured into giving answers.