A Cambodian man who sold his license to operate a medical clinic in Stung Treng City faces up to 10 years in prison after a woman died following an abortion conducted illegally on the premises, a court official said.
Sao Phally, 30, had an abortion at the Stung Treng Sekong clinic on May 29. On June 8, she passed away, apparently due to complications from the procedure, said Eang Kimthol, director of the Stung Treng Provincial Court.
“The suspect sold his own license to a Chinese ‘doctor,’ who continued to treat patients for two years,” Mr. Kimthol said.
The court director said that the license to run the Stung Treng Sekong clinic—issued by the provincial health department—was still valid, and that since it is registered in the name of Rin Ravuth, who serves as a technical official at the Stung Treng referral hospital, he was responsible for any mishaps at the clinic.
Mr. Kimthol said that police received a complaint from the family of the victim soon after she died, leading to an arrest on June 12 and a court hearing Thursday, at which Mr. Ravuth expressed his belief that the issue was settled.
“When questioned, the suspect said he had paid about $6,000 compensation to the family, but police later arrested him, even though they had come to an agreement,” Mr. Kimthol said.
He added that the $6,000 did not equate to justice and that Mr. Ravuth would face charges of conducting an abortion that led to a woman’s death, which, under the Health Law, is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison.
The court director added that the clinic was not licensed to perform abortions, and that it has now been shut down.
Hor Vuthy, chief of the minor crimes bureau in Stung Treng, said he was waiting for the court to issue a warrant for the arrest of the Chinese man, whom he did not name. Ultimately, however, Mr. Ravuth would be held accountable for the loss of life, he said.
“The Chinese man who caused the woman to die escaped, but the person who owns the clinic is responsible,” he said.