“Convict James Stanforth Ricketson is pardoned,” said the royal decree, which was signed by the acting head of state, Say Chhum. It said the request for the pardon had come from the country’s prime minister, Hun Sen. The prosecution had accused Ricketson of working as a filmmaker in Cambodia for years as a front for espionage, but the verdict did not mention for which country he was alleged to have been spying. Last month he was sentenced to six years in prison.
Ricketson during jail
Government-friendly media outlets had named him as an “important spy. Following the sentencing in August, Ricketson’s family and members of the Australian Cambodian community called on the Australian Government to put pressure on Cambodia to release Ricketson. ” Ricketson had been making documentaries in Cambodia for more than 20 years. During trial, the prosecution argued that Mr Ricketson’s work had damaged Cambodia’s reputation on the world stage. During the jail timeMr Ricketson’s health had deteriorated and he had lost weight, prompting a transfer to a prison hospital.