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HIV doctor trial wraps in Battambang after 5 days

HIV doctor trial wraps in Battambang after 5 days

The trial of the man charged with infecting almost 300 people with HIV in Battambang province’s Roka commune closed yesterday, with judges due to give their verdict in early December.

During five days of hearings at Battambang Provincial Court, more than 100 people gave evidence in the case of Yem Chroeum, who is accused of intentionally transmitting HIV, running an unlicensed clinic and murder involving torture.

Chroeum has maintained his innocence throughout, with his lawyer, Em Savan, yesterday insisting that he spread the virus by accident. “My client did not have any evil intent to spread HIV to villagers; I would like to call on the court to consider this according to the law”, Savan said.

Many of those who were infected are demanding between 5 million and 10 million riel (approximately $1,100 to $2,200) in compensation, as well as a prison sentence for Chroeum.

The HIV outbreak, which came to light in December 2014, has so far left 290 people infected, with 10 elderly people dying from complications.

The verdict is due to be handed down on December 3.

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