Jailed Foreigner Dies of Suspected Kidney Failure

A U.S. citizen in provisional detention in the Preah Sihanouk provincial prison died on Friday from complications resulting from drug abuse and kidney failure, according to a doctor at the provincial hospital where he was treated.

Mikhail Grafman, 52, was arrested along with four other foreign nationals last month and charged with illegal drug production after police found 0.5 kg of drug-making chemicals, including about 900 tablets of MDMA, at a bungalow he rented in Sihanoukville.

Sam Sophal, head of the provincial prison, said the American had suffered from shakes and chattering teeth since his arrest.

“He couldn’t even speak, even though his consul from Phnom Penh came to talk with him,” he said of a visit by a U.S. Embassy representative.

“They couldn’t understand each other.”

Prison doctors transferred Mikhail Grafman to the provincial hospital on Thursday, but he died a day later due to “drug abuse and chronic renal failure,” said Seng Long, the hospital’s head doctor.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Jay Raman said: “We are aware of this case, but have no additional comment due to privacy reasons.”


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