Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Breaking: Police will charge former RFA reporters with ‘espionage’



Breaking: Police will charge former RFA reporters with ‘espionage’

Former RFA reporters Oun Chhin (centre, back) and Yeang Sothearin (left in blue shirt) are escorted by officials after being detained for questioning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday.
Former RFA reporters Oun Chhin (centre, back) and Yeang Socheameta (left in blue shirt) are escorted by officials after being detained for questioning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday. Pha Lina

Breaking: Police will charge former RFA reporters with ‘espionage’

Phnom Penh Deputy Police Chief Sim Vuthy says two former Radio Free Asia reporters, detained on Tuesday, will be sent to the municipal court tomorrow to face "espionage charges".

Vuthy confirmed that the police were looking to charge the pair, Oun Chhin and Yeang Socheameta, under Article 445 of the Criminal Code for providing "a foreign state with information which undermines national defence". The charge carries a prison sentence of seven to 15 years.

The two were first arrested on Tuesday for allegedly running a karaoke production studio illegally, but Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak later confirmed that they were being investigated for allegedly setting up a broadcast studio for RFA, an accusation the men denied.

"It could be providing information from inside the country to abroad without permission and illegally," he said at the time.

​The US-funded radio broadcaster shuttered its in-country operations in September after a government crackdown on independent radio stations broadcasting their programming made it “impossible” for them to continue in the Kingdom. However, it continues to publish stories on Cambodia and broadcasts shows online from Washington, DC, by relying on “networks of trusted sources inside the country”.​

RFA has said that it no longer has any ties to the two journalists, and that they were not working on its behalf.

A previous version of this article misidentified one of the reporters who will be sent to municipal court tomorrow. The Post apologises for the error.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from