Former RFA reporters denied bail

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Two former Radio Free Asia reporters. KT/Mai Vireak

The Supreme Court on Monday denied bail to two former Radio Free Asia reporters who remain jailed on espionage charges for allegedly sending reports to the United States.

Presiding Judge Khim Ponn announced the verdict that the Supreme Court upheld the lower courts’ decisions not to allow Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin on bail because they could affect the security and public order while investigation is ongoing.

“The Supreme Court agrees with the Appeal Court’s decision which is correct,” Mr Ponn said “The Supreme Court rejects appeal of the defendants’ lawyer and upholds the Appeal Court’s decision in April 2018.”

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Mr Chhin and Mr Sothearin decried the verdict when they were escorted out of the courtroom.

“It is very unjust for me and my family,” Mr Sothearin said.

“Continued detaining us is hurting us very much,” Mr Chhin said.

Mr Chhin and Mr Sothearin were arrested in Phnom Penh’s Marady Hotel on November 14 and accused of espionage for sending reports to the United States.

In May, Phnom Penh Municipal Court extended the pre-trial detention of the pair for six months for investigations to continue. They are being detained at Prey Sar prison awaiting trial.

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The men worked for RFA’s Khmer-language service until the US-funded media outlet shut its Phnom Penh bureau on September 12 last year, citing government repression and the forced closure of its FM radio broadcasts.


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