Friday verdict for Australian filmmaker's Cambodian trial

Friday verdict for Australian filmmaker's Cambodian trial
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, right, gets off from a prisoner truck upon his arrival at Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Ricketson is on trial in Cambodia on charges of endangering national security by flying a drone over an opposition party rally last year. Closing arguments in the trial are expected Wednesday. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — 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.