Australian filmmaker James Ricketson has been sentenced to six years imprisonment after Cambodian authorities caught the documentary-maker using a drone to view a political rally.
According to a report by the Evening Standard, Ricketson was found guilty of espionage and was consequently sentenced to six years in imprisonment.
Ricketson, 69, argued that he was using the drone to take photos for a documentary he was working on.
In court, friend of Ricketson, BAFTA-winning director Peter Weir, testified in his defence stating that Ricketson was a victim of an ‘unfortunate misunderstanding’.
Character witnesses also testified to Ricketson’s financial generosity to people in need in the country.
Relatives told how the filmmaker has been travelling to Cambodia for 22 years to record the lives of the poor in the country.
Prosecutors argued that Ricketson had used journalism as an excuse for spying, citing links to former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party.