Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jailed filmmaker seeks delay to obtain lawyer

Jailed filmmaker seeks delay to obtain lawyer

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson shows his handcuffs to the press outside the Supreme Court after his bail hearing was delayed yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson shows his handcuffs to the press outside the Supreme Court after his bail hearing was delayed yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Jailed filmmaker seeks delay to obtain lawyer

The Supreme Court yesterday delayed the bail hearing of Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, currently imprisoned on “espionage” charges for allegedly flying a drone at an opposition election rally this year.

Ricketson, 68, requested the delay, saying he did not know how to answer the court’s questions as he had just been told about the hearing the day before and had not met his new lawyer, who was not present at the hearing and whose identity remains unknown.

“I need to discuss with him,” Ricketson told the court. Presiding Judge Soeng Panhavudth granted the request.

In the past, foreigners caught flying drones without permission from authorities were typically released the same day with a warning. Ricketson, who was a common sight at opposition events, was arrested in June and faces up to 10 years in prison.

His former lawyer, Ou Helene, said that she dropped the case when the Appeal Court rejected his bail request on August 9. “I am busy with work and . . . it bore no good result,” she said. “He kept calling to tell the lawyer about his difficulty [in prison], so I found it hard [to work] with him.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in an email last week that they are “providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in Cambodia”, but declined to comment further.

Analyst Meas Nee said it was unlikely Ricketson engaged in espionage, and said the case had to be dropped without proper evidence.

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • New airport study set for 2019

    A feasibility study on the construction of a new airport in the Kingdom will be launched later this year, according to a Ministry of Tourism spokesman on Monday. The plan was approved last week in a meeting held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance