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

  • ‘Support of CNRP return online will lead to arrest’

    Anyone posting messages supporting the return of Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), on social media will be arrested, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday that authorities

  • Police conduct raid on Orchid massage parlour

    Thirty-seven people, including three minors, were detained after Phnom Penh Municipal Police and the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection raided the Orchid massage parlour in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune on Monday. The 27-room massage parlour is believed to have

  • Gov’t: US allows Rainsy terrorism

    The US is allowing Sam Rainsy to use its territory to carry out terrorist activities against Cambodia, government spokesman Phay Siphan charged on Thursday. Joining in the salvo, an academic said the US is also using Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia

  • CNRP budget announced for soldiers who defect

    The permanent committee of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) said it has a budget for soldiers who defect from Prime Minister Hun Sen when “acting president” Sam Rainsy returns on November 9. An analyst said such an action amounted to forming a coup,