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Friday verdict for Australian filmmaker’s Cambodian trial

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The trial of an Australian filmmaker accused of endangering Cambodia’s national security has concluded, with the prosecution insisting that James Ricketson had engaged in journalism in order to carry out spying.

Ricketson was arrested in June last year for flying a camera-equipped drone over a rally held by the opposition party. The charge against him is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The three-judge panel will deliver its verdict Friday.

In his closing statement Wednesday, prosecutor Sieng Sok accused Ricketson of spying on sensitive sites for an unnamed foreign country. He claimed that Ricketson’s charitable activities were a cover for espionage.

Ricketson’s lawyer said the charge against Ricketson was totally without merit, and asked for his acquittal.