The appeal Court today rejected two applications by two former RFA journalists for it to annul a decision that put them under court supervision and to return their belongings, which were confiscated by police officers after their arrests, their lawyer said.
The defense lawyer Sam Chamroeun said the investigating chamber of the Appeals Court refused to decide whether it could annul the restrictions against them, but noted that the municipal court has concluded its investigation and will soon conduct a hearing.
“The Appeals Court said my clients do not have to appear at police station every month because the decision from municipal investigative judge to place them under court supervision had expired since the investigation concluded in March,” Mr Chamroeun said.
However, Mr Chamroeun noted that he and his clients had never received any notification or letter from the municipal court about the issue.
Mr Chamroeun said he will soon file a request to ask for a clarification from the Municipal court and seek clemency from the judge to return his client’s belongings in order for them to run their business and feed their families.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman today could not be reached for comment.
Mr Uon Chhin and Mr Yeang Sothearin worked for RFA’s Khmer-language service until the US-funded media outlet shut its Phnom Penh bureau on September 12, 2017, citing government repression and the forced closure of its FM radio broadcasts.
Both were arrested in Phnom Penh’s Marady Hotel in November and were accused of sending intelligence reports to the United States, an allegation they deny.
The pair were released on bail and placed under the court supervision last August after they spent about nine months in jail.