The Supreme Court yesterday decided to delay the bail decision for Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, held on espionage charges, until January 31.
Mr Ricketson arrived at the court after the January 31 delay was announced.
Supreme Court clerk Song Mao told reporters “the court needed to announce the decision at 8am, but at 9am he still hadn’t showed up, so the judges decided to delay the decision”.
Mr Ricketson, 68, was arrested near Phnom Penh’s riverside area in June last year and charged with collecting information prejudicial to national defence, which falls under the treason and espionage section of the criminal code.
Photographs posted to Fresh News at the time of his arrest showed Mr Ricketson flying a drone over a CNRP rally heading from Wat Chas across the Chinese Friendship Bridge to the city centre on June 2.
He was subsequently jailed pending trial and denied bail by the Appeal Court on August 9.
Mr Ricketson told reporters at the Supreme Court that “Journalism is not a crime, journalism is not espionage”.
Peung Yok Hiep, Mr Ricketson’s lawyer, said she was not sure whether the Supreme Court would allow her client to post bail.
She said that last month, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court also delayed the investigation into his case by six more months.
She said the court told her they have new evidence and would question Mr Ricketson again.
“His health in prison is not good because he is old,” Ms Yok Hiep said.
Soeng Panhavuth, presiding judge of the Supreme Court, could not be reached for comment yesterday.