Cambodian court upholds 25-year sentence for doctor who infected people with HIV

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-09 00:18:44|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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PHNOM PENH, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Appeal Court on Friday upheld the decision of a lower court to sentence an unlicensed medical practitioner to 25 years in prison for infecting over 200 villagers with HIV via the reuse of unclean needles.

Yem Chrin, 58, was arrested in 2014 in northwestern Battambang province after most of his patients had their blood tested positive for HIV and accused him of transmitting the virus via the reuse of unsterilized needles.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

In December 2015, the Battambang Provincial Court found him guilty of committing "cruel torture" and decided to sentence him to 25 years in prison. The court also ordered him to pay between 500 U.S. dollars and 3,000 U.S. dollars in compensation to each of more than 100 victims, who filed the complaints.

"The Battambang Provincial Court's decision against Yem Chrin is correct, so the Appeal Court decides to uphold the decision," Appeal Court Presiding Judge Yet Molin said as she pronounced the verdict on Friday.

Yem Chrin did not appear in court to hear his verdict.

During a hearing last month, Yem Chrin, who had been a village medical practitioner for almost 20 years, acknowledged his mistake and pleaded the court to reduce his jail sentence to 10 years. He told the court that he reused syringes on multiple patients because it was difficult to get new ones and he did not know that the unsterilized syringes could spread HIV.

The HIV outbreak in Battambang province's rural Roka commune, which came to light in 2014, has left some 290 people infected, with at least 20 people dying from complications so far.

The victims aged between 3 and 80 years old.

Cambodia currently has about 74,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. About 80 percent of them have received antiretroviral drugs.