Cambodia pardons Australian film-maker James Ricketson weeks after jailing him for espionage

Australia filmmaker James Ricketson speaks to the media at the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh Cambodia on Jan 17 2018

Australia filmmaker James Ricketson speaks to the media at the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh Cambodia on Jan 17 2018

Ricketson was arrested on June 3, 2017 in Phnom Penh while flying a drone illegally to capture images of a rally by the court-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

It added that the request for the pardon came from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

"Convict James Stanforth Ricketson is pardoned", said the royal decree signed by acting head of state Say Chhum. It is unclear when he will be released.

His pardon is the latest in a series of releases of political prisoners after the ruling party's landslide victory in a July election that critics and observers said was deeply flawed.

His arrest was part of a wider crackdown on dissent by the increasingly authoritarian government.

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But after going three-and-out on their next drive, Mond and the Aggies eventually responded. So let's assume Texas A&M plays the ground game well.

"It has been a really tough 16 months and I'm just kind of in shock now", Jesse said, expressing gratitude to Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni for "bringing this nightmare to an end". He had been detained without bail since June a year ago in harsh conditions.

It appeared that Ricketson was targeted by the government for perceived sympathy for the opposition Cambodian National Resue Party - the group that was dissolved past year - whose activities he had been filming.

Ricketon's lawyer, Kong Sam Onn, said legal papers required for his release had been issued and his client could be bound for Australia shortly. However, there is no official statement guaranteeing he will be readmitted.

But throughout the trial, Mr Ricketson continuously questioned the charges against him, asking who he was meant to be spying for. He and several character witnesses had testified that he provided financial assistance to several poverty-stricken Cambodians.

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