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Inmate’s death preventable: wife

A Kampong Cham inmate’s wife filed complaints with the government and NGOs against the provincial prison after he fell ill and died shortly after the prosecutor allegedly denied permission for him to seek treatment in Phnom Penh.

Meach Sokhoeun, 35, died July 14, a month after he fell seriously ill with hepatitis and fluid in his lungs, his wife, Kun Seang Oun, said yesterday.

Sokhoeun, who was serving a 12-year sentence for intentional murder, was referred to Kampong Cham’s provincial hospital on June 13, Seang Oun said.

As his condition deteriorated, she appealed to prosecutor Huot Vuthy to allow him to be treated at Phnom Penh hospital, Seang Oun said.

“The prosecutor is guilty for his lack of professionalism,” Seang Oun said. Vuthy refused to provide Seang Oun with her husband’s medical records, and denied his transfer because he was a flight risk, she said.

Since Sokhoeun’s death, Seang Oun has filed complaints with the Ministry of Justice, the Anti-Corruption Unit, as well as rights groups Licadho and Adhoc, among other organisations.

Doctors provided their best possible treatment for Sokhoeun’s fatal ailments, Vuthy insisted, adding that he never received a request for him to receive treatment in Phnom Penh.

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