(CNN)Australian filmmaker James Ricketson has been sentenced to six years in a Cambodian prison, after being found guilty of spying for an unnamed country.
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson found guilty of espionage in Cambodia
The 69-year-old filmmaker was arrested in Cambodia in June 2017 after flying a drone over a rally organized by the Cambodia National Rescue Party, an opposition group that was later dissolved by the government.
A statement released by Ricketson's family Friday said they were "absolutely devastated" by the verdict and sentence.
"We are in utter shock at this outcome and that James, an innocent Australian, has been sentenced so harshly. Our family lives this tragedy daily," his family said.
Ricketson's lawyer Sam Onn Kong told CNN that Ricketson would seek a royal pardon, which could take up to a month to be decided.
Meanwhile his family urged the Australian government to intervene, saying that Ricketson's health had suffered during the 15 months he's spent in Prey Sar prison, in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.
"James is almost 70 and is not in good health, our family is very scared about what will happen to him in there if things take a turn for the worst," they said in the statement.
"We're not sure how long he can endure the conditions he is forced to live in in Prey Sar prison, where he is subject to cramped quarters, lack of sleep, subsistence food and close to zero medical care."