Graham Cleghorn….victim of injustice in Cambodia?

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November 27 2004; Claims of bribery and coercion outlined
The documentary outlines Graham Cleghorn's claims that the complainants were bribed and coerced to make the allegations. Cleghorn and his supporters say the CWCC’s been offering girls $10,000 each to win convictions against foreign men. "$10,000 is 40 year’s salary. How can - that’s the equivalent of saying to somebody in New Zealand, would they sell you out for five million. And it’s pretty hard not to accept"

Girls have since come forward and revealed that they were held against their will by the Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre and coerced to testify against Cleghorn. The CWCC denies offering money to anyone to testify

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it has no reason to doubt the verdict. Anti-abuse campaigner Denise Ritchie claims that if the verdict was unfair, the Embassy would be "the first people to be jumping up and down"  The report revealed Ritchie was at the Embassy the week Cleghorn was convicted and "was briefed by staff"

2004-1127 - TV3 - Graham Cleghorn- News transcript




March 29 2004  Cambodian crackdown on foreigners preying on children
A report outlines foreign nationals arrested in the last year for sexual abuse, including Cleghorn and also Malcolm Hatfield

2004-0329 - Dominion Post - Cambodia nabs sex predators




March 25 2004:  Bronwyn Sloan: "Madness in their method"
Cambodia, with it's lax law enforcement, corrupt officials and largely young and poor population, has long been a favourite destination for foreign paedophiles. .......... Cambodian politicians now put a priority on eradicating the scourge ......

Local non-governmental organizations are helping the authorities tackle the problem, but some of these groups may be operating outside legal and ethical boundaries in a bid to get results and obtain essential foreign funding.

One such group, the Phnom Penh-based Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre (CWCC) has received publicity at home and abroad over the past four years for its key role in gathering evidence and witnesses in the prosecutions of several foreign residents in Siem Reap. But critics have serious misgivings about some of the CWCC's methods, including the way it gathers evidence from potential witnesses, holds out the promise of financial compensation to victims and pays for help. The agency denies that its methods are illegal or unethical

2004-0325 - Far Eastern Economic Review - Madness in Their Method




February 24: Denise Ritchie of Ecpat welcomes Graham Cleghorn's sentence
Denise Ritchie says "This case is a reminder to New Zealanders who travel overseas and commit sex crimes against children, that they can look forward to spending a lengthy stint in a foreign jail for such acts" She makes no comment on any possibility that Graham Cleghorn may be innocent

2004-0224 - Ecpat-NZ - New Zealander jailed for 20 years for sex crimes in Cambodia




February 18 2007; Graham Cleghorn found guilty; Sentenced to 20 years
Graham Cleghorn found guilty of the rape of five former employees aged between 15 and 19. He was sentenced to 20 years jail and ordered to pay US$2000 ($2800) compensation to each girl's family.

Court prosecutor So Vat told the court the girls had been hired by Cleghorn's wife, Baut Toer, 25, as maids for US$20 per month, but that between 2001 and 2003 he had systematically sexually abused each of them, making his wife order them into his room to give him massage before sexually assaulting or raping them.

Evidence produced in court included a jar of Vaseline the prosecution claimed was found in the house "without medical reason", and a pistol police said was found on Cleghorn's property after he was arrested last October. No bullets were found

Cleghorn denied the charges, saying the girls had been offered money by the Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre to complain about him. He has insisted throughout his detention that he was set up because he is one of only two foreign property owners in the tourist town near the world famous Angkor Wat temple complex, where he worked as a tour guide

The prosecutor would like the court to believe that these girls would stay in my house and allow themselves to be raped every month for $20 but not to believe that they would stand in court and lie for $10,000. I think a bribe of $10,000 is enough to tempt anyone," Cleghorn told the court in an impassioned speech before the sentencing, referring to his claims that the crisis centre had promised the girls money for testifying against him.

2004-0217 - Kymer City - 20 years jail for NZer in Cambodia

2004-0218 - The Australian - NZ man jailed for Cambodia rape

2004-0218 - Dominion Post - Kiwi accused of rape

2004-0218 - ABC Radio - New Zealander jailed in Cambodia for rape

2004-0219 - NZ Herald - NZ man gets 20 years for raping maids




January 13 2004; Graham Cleghorn in prison
A report listing New Zealanders in prison overseas, includes Graham Cleghorn

2004-0113 - NZ Herald - Hundreds from NZ in alien jails