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Cambodian spying verdict due for Australian who flew drone

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — An Australian filmmaker has arrived at a Cambodian court to hear his verdict on a security charge that carries up to 10 years in prison.

James Ricketson arrived alone in a prison van Friday. From a court waiting room, he told The Associated Press, “I hope I am free today and I could go home.”

He has been held since June last year when he was detained after flying a drone to photograph an opposition party political rally.

The charge against Ricketson is tantamount in legal terms to espionage, but prosecutors never specified which foreign power he allegedly spied for.

Cambodia has released almost two dozen jailed critics or opponents of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government in recent hopes. That has raised hope Ricketson may also be freed.