Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court upholds decision to deny bail for RFA duo




Court upholds decision to deny bail for RFA duo

Former RFA reporters Oun Chhin and Yeang Sothearin appear at the Appeal Court, which denied their application for bail.
Former RFA reporters Oun Chhin and Yeang Sothearin appear at the Appeal Court, which denied their application for bail. Kim Sarom

Court upholds decision to deny bail for RFA duo

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld a decision by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this month to deny bail for two former Radio Free Asia reporters accused of “espionage”, with the pair’s lawyer calling the decision unfair.

Keo Vanny, the lawyer representing former journalists Oun Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, told reporters that his clients had not committed the crime they are being charged with. Vanny said presiding Judge Khun Leangmeng denied bail because the investigation was still ongoing and could allegedly be hampered by their release.

“But I think the decision is not fair for my clients because . . . they have never committed a crime, and if they are released [on bail], none of the evidence is going to be damaged,” he said. “Everything, including my clients’ background has been sent to the court already, [and] their passports, so there is no reason for the court not to release them.”

Vanny plans to file an appeal at the Supreme Court.

Chhin and Sothearin were first detained on November 14, with police initially accusing them of running an unlicensed karaoke studio. The Ministry of Interior, however, later confirmed that the pair was being investigated for allegedly setting up a studio for RFA, which suspended its in-country operations in September during a clampdown on independent media outlets.

The pair was later charged with providing “a foreign state with information which undermines national defence”. If convicted, they can face up to 15 years in prison.

Both men and RFA have denied the allegations.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old