Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Healer charged for unintentional killing

Healer charged for unintentional killing

A container carrying the contents of a traditional tree root medicine, designed to treat asthma, that is believed to have poisoned two people, killing one, on February 14. Photo supplied
A container carrying the contents of a traditional tree root medicine, designed to treat asthma, that is believed to have poisoned two people, killing one, on February 14. Photo supplied

Healer charged for unintentional killing

A traditional healer from Kampot was charged with unintentional murder late Wednesday, after one of his asthma remedies allegedly killed one man and hospitalised another.

The healer, Khan Sophal, could face up to three years in prison after a batch of tree root medicine – meant to alleviate breathing difficulties – allegedly claimed a life on February 14.

According to Sou Bunthoeun, deputy police chief in charge of crime of in Teuk Chhou district, Sam Vanna, 60, and a man known only by the name Huot, 50, fell victim to the poisonous product after mixing it with rice wine and drinking it alongside a meal of dog meat.

Both men began vomiting violently and were sent to a hospital in Kampot, which did not have the facilities to treat them and transferred them to a hospital in Vietnam. Vanna died on the way, while Huot arrived in serious condition.

During questioning, Sophal said he prepared wild poisonous tree roots called eoung chhean, or kao, for Vanna, claiming heinstructed him to put the roots in rice wine for 10 days before serving, warning that “if you drink it immediately, you will die”. Sophal claimed Vanna was poisoned because he did not follow the healer’s advice.

Vanna’s son Chin Sovannarith yesterday said that his father’s friend was “lucky” to survive, and he had a doctor test the roots in rice wine to confirm their poisonous content.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh