Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Roka doctor asks court for a shorter sentence

Roka doctor asks court for a shorter sentence

Yem Chrin, an unlicensed medic responsible for an HIV outbreak in Battambang, is escorted out of the Appeal Court yesterday.
Yem Chrin, an unlicensed medic responsible for an HIV outbreak in Battambang, is escorted out of the Appeal Court yesterday. Pha Lina

Roka doctor asks court for a shorter sentence

An unlicensed doctor sentenced to 25 years in prison for causing an outbreak of HIV in Battambang province’s Roka commune yesterday asked the Appeal Court to reduce his sentence to 15 years.

Yem Chrin, 56, was arrested in 2014 in Sangke district’s Roka village and sentenced in December 2015. The 300 victims who contracted HIV were between 3 and 80 years old at the time they were diagnosed, and 22 have died, including three children, said Be Peng Sor, of the Roka commune health centre.

Chrin yesterday admitted to reusing unsterilised needles after treating a HIV-positive patient, who has since died. “I first kept the used needles separate,” he said. “But later, I put them together, so I confused them.”

He said his mother-in-law, nieces, and other relatives were also infected with HIV. One of the five people who represented the victims yesterday said a total of 10 of his relatives were infected, including his father-in-law and his wife.

“I admit my mistake and plead the court to reduce my punishment by 10 years,” Chrin said.

Another villager, who was not identified at the hearing, said patients were struggling to access medicine while also working to support themselves.

“They cannot leave the village to earn a living far from home, because there isn’t enough medicine to take. The government should create jobs for HIV-positive people,” she said.

Defence lawyer Ouk Vandeth maintained that his client had no intention to harm his patients and should be forgiven. A verdict is due September 8.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub