Graham CleghornÖ.victim of injustice in Cambodia?

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TV3 New Zealand
Saturday November 27 2004

6pm News


News reader:†††††††††††† Graham Cleghorn is serving a 20-year sentence. In a report for tomorrowís Herald on Sunday he claims from jail that the girls who testified against him were bribed and coerced to make false allegations.Tony Field reports:

Tony Field: †††††††††††††† Cleghorn is serving a 20 year sentence for child sex crimes he says he didnít commit. He claims the girls who testified against him were bribed and coerced by a Non Governmental Organisation called the Cambodian Womenís Crisis Centre.

Graham Cleghorn †††† (shots of Cambodian street scene, Cleghorn in both Western & Eastern clothes): The CWCC know that anybody charged with a sex offence - everybody deserts them. Their friends walk off and leave them.

Tony Field: †††††††††††††† Cleghorn and his supporters say the CWCCís been offering girls $10,000 each to win convictions against foreign men.

Graham Cleghorn: ††† $10,000 is 40 yearís salary. How can - thatís the equivalent of saying to somebody in New Zealand, would they sell you out for five million. And itís pretty hard not to accept.

Tony Field: †††††††††††††† But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has no reason to doubt the convictions. Nor does child abuse campaigner Denise Ritchie who was briefed by staff at New Zealandís Bangkok Embassy the week Cleghorn was convicted in February.

Denise Ritchie: †††††††† The Ambassador did tell me that he had sent one of the Embassy staff over to monitor the trial. One would expect that, if there was any perception of a miscarriage of justice, the New Zealand Embassy would be one of the first people to be jumping up and down.

Tony Field: †††††††††††††† Cleghorn says since his conviction several girls have come forward saying the CWCC held them against their will and tried to force them to testify.

Graham Cleghorn: ††† They held them in rooms, and they told them they would never see their mothers again if they didnít say that Iíd sexually assaulted them.

Tony Field: †††††††††††††† The organisation denies offering money to anyone to testify. The case will be appealed next month. British Embassy staff have been visiting Cleghorn in prison to check on his condition. His family are worried that his healthís deteriorating. His daughter Heidi says her fatherís been suffering from chest pains, but prison authorities are ignoring his requests for medical help.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tony Field, Three News.