“Which country am I spying for?” he was yelling. Ricketson was arrested in June last year, a day after he was reprimanded by authorities for flying a photographic drone without permission over a political rally. He has already spent 15 months in Phnom Penh jail since being arrested for flying a drone without a permit over a political rally organised by the now-banned opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). Human rights advocates condemned the verdict. During Ricketson’s trial, prosecutor Seang Sok said Ricketson had entered Cambodia to incite hatred, aiming to overthrow Hun Sen and his government and to provide information to foreign states that was harmful to the country. Prosecutors did not name any country that Ricketson allegedly spied.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australian filmmaker James Ricketson will receive any support possible from the government after being convicted of espionage. The Cambodian-Australian community called on the Australian Government to condemn Ricketson’s conviction and demand his release within four weeks. Ricketson repeatedly insisted during the trial that he had no political agenda and his work making documentary films was journalistic in nature. Not at least, James Ricketson has been involved in charity work in Cambodia.