The wife of jailed Australian missionary Martin Chan is hoping the Cambodian courts will release her husband on bail when he fronts a judge on Tuesday and drop fraud charges, which he has already been exonerated of in a dispute settlement arbitration.
"We don't know how it will go," Deborah Kim, an optometrist from Sydney, told AAP. "We hope he will be released but we don't know."
An international petition demanding his release has so far garnered more than 13,000 signatures as Chan spends his fourth month in Kandal Provincial Prison, south of Phnom Penh, in a cramped cell shared with 90 other inmates, many convicted of violent crimes.
Kim and Chan have lived in Cambodia for seven years as volunteers for His International Services, a Christian non-profit company.
He was overseeing construction of a bilingual school for 1,000 students, but the project ran into trouble and folded in 2016 when contractors PHV Construction Co were terminated.
The case then went to a civil dispute tribunal, the National Commercial Arbitration Centre. Chan's charity-run company was cleared of wrongdoing and Kim thought that was the end of the matter.
But as they were boarding a plane for Hong Kong in November Chan was arrested for fraud amid claims the contract was terminated without reason.
A copy of the court statement by PHV, provided to the ABC, alleged fraudulent actions of Chan and the woman who set up His International Services, Jung Young Kim, had "heavily damaged" the company. Jung Young Kim has since left Cambodia.
"We just want a fair hearing . They've married a civil matter with a criminal case," Kim said. "He shouldn't be in jail, he should not have been charged.
"Martin was just a volunteer to oversee the project. He did everything, but he was not paid as a volunteer," she said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has said it was providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in Cambodia. "Owing to our privacy obligations, we will not provide further comment," it said.
However, Kim added that DFAT could do more, saying two embassy visits to the prison and one in court were not sufficient.