Cleghorn….victim of injustice in
The daughter of a
Former aid worker
Graham Cleghorn, 55, was jailed in February 2004 and is being held in
He is serving 20 years for the rape of five teenage girls – a conviction he has said he is innocent of.
Earlier National Radio
reported that last month an appeal had been heard in
The unsuccessful appeal did not allow Cleghorn to present written statements from all five women he was convicted of raping which stated the crimes didn't take place.
Cleghorn's daughter, Heidi Madeley, said her father had been in prison for two and a half years and she felt the Government had abandoned his case.
Ms Madeley said she had not received any reports on the way the appeals had been handled.
"The only thing I
have received is a letter from the New Zealand Embassy in
Ms Madeley said the Government had not been "forthcoming" in giving her father any assistance since his arrest.
"It's like it's somebody else's problem."
Ms Madeley said she visited Cleghorn in August, and realised he was not well.
"He just wasn't really strong enough to have long chats. He's lost most of his teeth and his heath is deteriorating rapidly."
Ms Madeley said her father had pains in his chest and legs.
"The conditions are not good for a man in his late 50s."
Cleghorn was being kept in a cell with 40 other men where there was only one sleeping mat for every five men. There was no running water, fans or air conditioning, Ms Madeley said.
"If somebody doesn't bring you food – unless you want to eat rice everyday, low quality rice – you don't get fed."
She said medical care had to be organised from the outside, and the family has had to pay for doctors to visit him.
"But there's nothing really they can do because he has got to get out of these conditions for his health to improve long-term."
Ms Madeley said she assumed the Cambodian government would be looking at her father's case and would be ordering a retrial.
The New Zealand Government had already raised concerns at the way Cleghorn's original trial was handled.
It took only nine hours, he was refused a translator, and denied the right to call his own witnesses and cross-examine prosecution witnesses.
Ms Madeley said that because the original trial and appeal were conducted without any real justice, a retrial should be ordered.
"I can't even bear the thought that there wouldn't be a retrial."
If Cleghorn does not get a retrial, "he will die".
Prime Minister Helen Clark needed to speak out in favour of Cleghorn, Ms Madeley said.
"We need all the
help we can get and dad is still a
Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFAT) consular division director Carolyn Forsyth said the
The ambassador, Peter
Rider, would be going to
"Sending an ambassador over is a very senior and formal step and that reflects the seriousness with which we take the situation."
Ms Forsyth said the embassy staff who attended Cleghorn's first trial raised concerns about the proceedings with Cambodian officials.
She said MFAT had to wait until the outcome of the appeal before doing anything further about their concerns.