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

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • NBC’s digital payments to go live in next few months

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) will launch a Blockchain-based, peer-to-peer payment and money transfer platform in the next few months, its director-general Chea Serey told The Post on Monday. Dubbed ‘Project Bakong’, the scheme already has the support of 11 banks, with many more expected

  • Learning Jungle’s Ly Virak speaks on education sector

    The Canada-franchised Learning Jungle International School has recently expanded into secondary education under the name Westview Cambodian International School. The Phnom Penh Post’s May Kunmakara spoke with its founder, Ly Virak, to discuss his business as well as the development of the education sector

  • Gov’t answers garment buyers’ complaint

    Some of the biggest buyers in the Kingdom’s garment sector have urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to address issues faced by unions and workers – a request a senior official said was out of touch with the situation on the ground. The letter addressed to