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Trial of Cambodian reporters who used to work for US begins

Posted at 1:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 04:49:25-04

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The espionage trial of two Cambodian journalists who formerly worked for a U.S. government-funded radio station has begun, almost two years after their arrests.

Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin appeared Friday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to defend themselves against the charge that they had undermined national security by supplying information to a foreign state, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Rights groups have characterized their case as a flagrant attack on press freedom.

Uon Chhin testified that he had already left employment with Radio Free Asia and was building a karaoke studio when he was arrested in November 2017. He acknowledged covering two news events for RFA after leaving its employ, but denied allegations that his studio was meant for his former employer’s use.