Information Minister Khieu Kanharith has asked a jailed journalist to write a letter requesting his intervention, following a meeting with a local journalist organization.
The journalist, Ros Sokhet, was sentenced to two years in prison in November 2009, after he sent a series of text messages to a famous news anchor that were deemed threatening.
The news anchor, Soy Sopheap, has said he complained of anonymous texts to the Ministry of Interior, whose police subsequently arrested and charged Ros Sokhet with criminal disinformation.
“If the information minister has the initiative to find the legal possibility of solving the case of Ros Sokhet, I completely support the initiative,” Soy Sopheap said Monday.
Ros Sokhet's Appeals Court hearing is scheduled for Friday, and the Press Council of Cambodia has asked the Information Ministry to aid on Ros Sokhet's behalf.
Following a meeting with the press club on Monday, Khieu Kanharith said he wanted Ros Sokhet to write a letter requesting his help. He would then meet with Ministry of Justice officials, he said.
Press Council President Sok Sovann said Monday the club had asked for help in Ros Sokhet's release because the journalist's mother is aging and ill.
Defense lawyer Som Sokong said he would discuss the possibility of the request with Ros Sokhet, “so that the Appeals Court will make a fair hearing.”