Australian Filmmaker Nabbed for ‘Illegally’ Living in Country

A controversial Australian filmmaker was arrested in Phnom Penh on Saturday for allegedly living in Cambodia illegally, municipal immigration police said on Sunday.

James Ricketson, 68, who was found guilty of defaming an anti-pedophile NGO last year over accusations it had manipulated witnesses, was detained along the riverside at about 4 p.m. after police became suspicious of his behavior, said Lou Rabo, deputy municipal police chief in charge of immigration.

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Australian filmmaker James Ricketson is questioned by Immigration Police on Saturday in a photograph published by Fresh News.

“We checked for his passport. He didn’t have it,” he said, adding that Mr. Ricketson did not respond to further questions.

“This means he is living in Cambodia illegally.”

Photographs posted online to government-aligned Fresh News appear to show Mr. Ricketson operating a drone over a crowd of CNRP campaigners, but Mr. Rabo denied that the arrest was prompted by this.

City Hall banned the use of drones without prior approval in 2015.

Mr. Ricketson was being held at the municipal immigration bureau on Sunday, Mr. Rabo said.

In December, Mr. Ricketson was ordered to pay 15 million riel, or about $3,750, in fines and compensation for defaming NGO Action Pour Les Enfants.

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