An investigative judge at Phnom Penh’s Appeal Court denied bail yesterday for Tammy Davis-Charles, an Australian national arrested in November for allegedly running a commercial surrogacy business in Cambodia.
Following a 20-minute closed-door hearing, judge Khun Leangmeng announced that the defendant would not be allowed out on bail because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court is preparing to hold a trial in the near future. The exact date of the trial was not specified. The defendant’s lawyer, Chheang Sorphoan, and prosecutor Kim Klayan both attended the hearing.
Pediatric nurse Davis-Charles was charged under Article 332 of the Penal Code, which prohibits acting as an intermediary between adoptive parents and a pregnant woman. She is also charged with possession of fraudulent documents and could face up to two years in prison.
A law to regulate commercial surrogacy is currently being drafted in Cambodia, but it remains unclear whether the industry will be legalised or prohibited.
Davis-Charles refused to comment yesterday.