Cambodian former opposition leader sentenced to 27 years

One of Cambodia's most prominent former opposition leaders has been sentenced to 27 years.

The court in Phnom Penh found Kem Sokha guilty of treason on Friday. He has one month to file an appeal.

Kem Sokha had led the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, the country's largest opposition group. He was arrested in 2017 on charges of conspiring with foreign powers to carry out hostile acts against the country. He has denied any wrong doing.

His arrest drew criticism from the international community, including the United States and European countries.

Kem Sokha's lawyer called Friday's verdict an unacceptable injustice and said he will discuss an appeal with his client.

Cambodia holds general elections every five years, with the next one expected in July. Observers say Prime Minister Hun Sen's government could step up its crackdown on opposition parties and opponents ahead of the vote.