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RFA reporters hope court drops charges

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Former RFA reporters Oun Chhin (centre, back) and Yeang Sothearin (left in blue shirt) are escorted by officials after being detained for questioning in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

RFA reporters hope court drops charges

Two former RFA journalists who were recently released on bail have expressed hope that the Supreme Court will drop the charges against them.

After their hearing on Wednesday, Oun Chhin, one of the accused, told reporters that he hoped the charges would be dropped so he could begin working and helping his family again.

“I was detained for nine months and seven days. We have wasted a lot of time and money,” he said.

Yeang Sothearin, the other accused journalist, said if the Supreme Court makes its decision independently, it could provide him with justice by letting him walk free.

“While I was in prison, I faced many issues such as health, time, money, physical, mental, and family problems,” he said.

Keo Vanny, the pair’s defence lawyer could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

However, he told Voice of Democracy (VOD) after leaving the Supreme Court that his clients asked the court to drop the charges because they did not commit any crimes. He said the court had detained them past the legal limit.

During the hearing, Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Ouk Kimseth asked the head of the council to uphold the charges against the reporters because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court followed the law.

After the hearing, Judge Kong Srim said he would announce the verdict on September 17.

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