Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PP Municipal Court concludes Rott Mony RT documentary trial

PP Municipal Court concludes Rott Mony RT documentary trial

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rath Rott Mony was at The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on May 2019. Heng Chivoan

PP Municipal Court concludes Rott Mony RT documentary trial

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday concluded the civil case against Rath Rott Mony over the filming of the controversial RT documentary My Mother Sold Me.

Earlier this week RT, the Russian government-funded television network that produced the documentary on the alleged sale of young women’s virginity, wrote a letter to the Cambodian embassy in Moscow, expressing its concern over Rott Mony’s detention.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court hearing, comprised of Judge Koy Sao and Deputy Prosecutor Vong Bun Visoth, heard from plaintiffs Tep Salin and her daughter Lim Sreyty that Rott Mony told them he would help with the capital to set up a hairdressers salon and a laundry business.

He said the film would not be shown in Cambodia. RT would air it abroad and should it be successful, they would help her with money, Roth Mony was alleged to have said.

“My family is poor and when Rott Mony told me he could help me financially, [I agreed]. But the title of the film was My Mother Sold Me."

“If I had known this, my daughter and I would not have gotten involved. Though poor, I did not sell my daughter and I demand $10,000 in damages,” Salin said.

Sreyty told the judge that she had volunteered to act in the firm because Rott Mony told her that it was about the lives of poor families in Cambodia.

“He did not tell me the truth beforehand. I have never sold my body even though I am poor. When the case became known to the police, they arrested my mother, saying she had sold me. I demand $10,000 in damages,” Sreyty said.

Sam Titseyha and Lor Chunthy, Rott Mony’s defence lawyers, argued that their client did not instruct anyone to use the words “selling their body”. Those involved answered all questions voluntarily, they said.

In addition, the RT film crew had submitted a letter to the Cambodian embassy in Russia saying that Rott Mony worked for them only as a translator.

“So I ask the court to drop the charges based on Article 496 of the Criminal Code,” defence lawyer Chunthy said.

Prosecutor Bun Visoth said that based on the testimony of the five plaintiffs, evidence, and police reports, Rott Mony had clearly participated in making the film and was a producer as well as a translator.

“The film damaged Cambodia’s reputation. So I would like the court to agree with the investigating judge’s charges,” he said.

The verdict will be announced on June 26.

Ekaterina Yakovleva, the head of RT’s documentary department, said in the letter to the Cambodian embassy in Moscow that Rott Mony had worked with their crew only as a local “fixer and interpreter” between January 22 and February 6 last year.

The documentary was edited in Moscow in August and September last year by a team of solely RT personnel.

They wished to make it clear that the RT crew had secured signed notes of consent from each of the main female characters in respect of their participation and appearance in the film, the letter added.

“We are highly concerned about the detention of Rott Mony and hope that the situation is resolved in the nearest future,” Ekaterina said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the