Asia

Accused killer of Cambodian political pundit found guilty

  • A prison guard, left, touches a back side which is believed Oeut Ang, center, also known by the pseudonym "Chuob Samlab" "Meet Kill" as they arrive at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, March 23, 2017. Cambodian court has sentenced the man to life in prison for killing a prominent government critic. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith) A vehicle, front, which is believed to carry

    A prison guard, left, touches a back side which is believed Oeut Ang, center, also known by the pseudonym "Chuob Samlab" "Meet Kill" as they arrive at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, March 23, 2017. Cambodian court has sentenced the man to life in prison for killing a prominent government critic. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith) A vehicle, front, which is believed to carry  (The Associated Press)

  • Yung Phanith, center, lawyer to Oeut Ang, center, gives a press conference at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, March 23, 2017. Cambodian court has sentenced the man to life in prison for killing a prominent government critic. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Yung Phanith, center, lawyer to Oeut Ang, center, gives a press conference at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, March 23, 2017. Cambodian court has sentenced the man to life in prison for killing a prominent government critic. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

A Cambodian court has sentenced a man to life in prison for killing a prominent government critic.

Judge Leang Sam Nath of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court announced the verdict Thursday, finding Oeut Ang, the killer of Kem Ley, guilty of murder and illegal possession of a firearm.

Oeut Ang, also known by the pseudonym "Chuob Samlab" — "Meet Kill" — has said he shot Kem Ley at a convenience store in the Cambodian capital last July because he failed to repay a debt owed him.

However, there is considerable speculation that he is a scapegoat, and that the killing was politically motivated because of Kem Ley's caustic commentaries about Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government.

Cambodia does not have capital punishment.