Cambodian medic who spread HIV asks for court’s mercy

Yem Chrin, centre, an unlicensed medical practitioner, is escorted by prison guards to waiting transportation outside an appeals court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday. (AP Photo)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — An unlicensed Cambodian medical practitioner who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for infecting more than 100 villagers with HIV has told an appeals court he only sought to provide care and acknowledged his mistake in reusing syringes.

The court in the northwestern province of Battambang in December 2015 found Yem Chrin guilty of cruel behaviour resulting in death, intentionally spreading HIV and practicing medicine without a license. He is seeking a reduction of his sentence to 10 years. The court’s verdict is due Sept 8.

Yem Chrin told the court in Phnom Penh Friday that he reused disposable syringes and needles because it was difficult to get new ones and he didn’t know they could spread the infection.

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