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.


  • 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

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • 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

  • 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

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to

  • Inmates evacuated, schools closed as flooding takes toll

    Thousands of students in Battambang province missed school while over 1,000 prisoners in Banteay Meanchey province were evacuated because of rain-induced floods in the past few days. Yi Songky, director of the provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport, said floods affected 316 schools in Battambang. Over 200