Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh court to hold Ricketson hearing

Phnom Penh court to hold Ricketson hearing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson shows his handcuffs to the press outside the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh in 2017. Pha Lina

Phnom Penh court to hold Ricketson hearing

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court will hold the first hearing in the trial against Australian filmmaker James Ricketson on Friday, after closing the investigation last month, Ricketson’s defence lawyer said.

The Australian was arrested last June while flying a drone over a Cambodia National Rescue Party commune-election rally in Phnom Penh.

He was charged with “acts of collecting information which may undermine national defence”, which, according to Article 446 of the Penal Code, means Ricketson could face between five and 10 years in jail if found guilty.

Peung Yok Hiep, Ricketson’s lawyer, told The Post on Monday that she recently received information from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court that the first hearing would be held on June 15. She said she may request a postponement.

“The investigative judge just closed the investigation and then the case was sent to trial. This is too quick for us to make proper preparations,” Yok Hiep said on Monday.

Ricketson’s adopted daughter Roxanne Holmes started an online petition calling on the Australian government to bring him home. As of Monday, more than 76,000 people had signed the petition.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it had provided consular assistance to Ricketson since his arrest and are “liaising with Mr Ricketson’s next of kin and local legal representatives.

“The minister for foreign affairs has also raised Mr Ricketson’s case with the Cambodian government.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.

  • PM denies ‘nepotism’ claims

    Prime minister Hun Sen denied on Thursday that nepotism was involved in the recent promotions of the children of senior government officials. He said they had been “trained” and were entirely capable of carrying out their duties while being open to “punishment” like anyone else.