Appeal Court Upholds Decision to Reinvestigate RFA Espionage Case

The Appeal Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal made by two former Radio Free Asia journalists to stop the reinvestigation of an espionage case against them more than two years after they were charged.

Yeang Sothearin and Uon Chhin, who both worked for the U.S.-run news outlet, had objected to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision on October 3 to reinvestigate their case instead of issuing a verdict.

Sothearin and Chhin are charged with supplying a foreign state with information prejudicial to national defense, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. During their trial last year, the pair acknowledged they had filed news reports to Radio Free Asia even after it shuttered its Phnom Penh office in September 2017 amid government pressure — though it was not made clear how they had prejudiced national defense by doing so.

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