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

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

    The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth