Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - James Ricketson eyes royal pardon after verdict



James Ricketson eyes royal pardon after verdict

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson reacts as he attempts to speak to journalists from a prison vehicle after his verdict at Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week. TANG CHHIN Sothy/AFP

James Ricketson eyes royal pardon after verdict

Jailed Australian filmmaker James Ricketson’s lawyer said yesterday that he was preparing a letter to be sent to the Cambodian government seeking a royal pardon for his client.

The 69-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of “espionage of information prejudicial to national defence” by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last Friday.

The trial was widely condemned as having little evidence from the prosecution to support the charge.

Defence lawyer Kong Sam Onn said the request would likely be submitted early next week.

“We have decided to request a royal pardon. [The request] needs certain documents in order for it to be sent to Samdech Prime Minister [Hun Sen]. We are preparing the documentation and we will likely submit it early next week,” he said on Thursday.

Ricketson was handed a six-year jail term last Friday after being found guilty of carrying out espionage activities the court said had been committed in Cambodia from December 2010 to June 3, last year, the day of his arrest.

During the trial, the court quizzed him on the five films he had produced on the Kingdom, and on his communications with the leadership of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party.

Sam Onn said he wouldn’t file an appeal as he was confident Ricketson would be excused by the government, leading to a pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni. Consequently, filing an appeal was unnecessary, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian