The Kampot Provincial Court on Tuesday charged two reporters with blackmail, though officials remained tight-lipped about the circumstances of the alleged crime.
Hok Ly, a reporter for TV9, and Sar Sunly, who worked for both Hong Meas TV and the Kampuchea Thmey newspaper, were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) in Kampot City on Friday.
ACU head Om Yentieng has repeatedly declined to disclose the reasons for their arrest. Kampot City police chief Ngoem Vath said he knew nothing about the case.
“The judge has charged them with blackmail under Article 372 [of the Criminal Code],” court prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot said, declining to comment further.
The pair faces up to five years in prison if found guilty. In a separate case, the Kompong Chhnang Provincial Court on Tuesday found five reporters not guilty of extorting $300 from an illegal-timber dealer in Toek Phos district in November 2010, according to their lawyer Chhim Sathyanon.
“The decision is justice… because there was no evidence they committed the crime,” Mr. Sathyanon said.
The reporters worked for the Doeum Ampil, Thngay Nish, Norkorwat and Prachea Thepatey newspapers and for Apsara TV.