Graham Cleghorn….victim of injustice in Cambodia?

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The Timaru Herald
June 20 2006

New appeal date for NZ man: report

A new appeal date for a New Zealand man serving 20 years in a Cambodian jail for rape has been set down for July 10 after the New Zealand ambassador intervened in the case, his former lawyer said yesterday.

Dy Borima, who resigned as lawyer for Graham Cleghorn, 58, just hours after an appeal by two Australians against charges brought by the same controversial women's organisation was thrown out by the same judge and the same court despite all witnesses present recanting, said the Phnom Penh Appeals Court had informed him of the date late last week.

Cleghorn was convicted of raping five female former employees in 2004. Last Friday he said from Prey Sar prison outside Phnom Penh that he held out no hope of a fair trial and insisted he was the victim of a "sex sting".

He claimed the Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre (CWCC) set him up to promote its lucrative fund- raising and enable corrupt officials to lay claim to his valuable land at the edge of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

It will be Cleghorn's fourth attempt to have an appeal heard since his first appeal was rejected.

His legal team at the time claimed eight witnesses had been willing to testify then that they had been threatened and offered financial compensation to make false allegations against Cleghorn, but had refused.

New Zealand ambassador Peter Rider has stepped in and requested that the Cambodian government grant a new hearing to international standards of justice.

But Cleghorn, a former tour guide, remained pessimistic about his chances, citing Cambodia's infamously endemic corruption and a reluctance by officials to go up against a powerful and well- funded organisation like the CWCC, which he said attracts millions of dollars in international donations each year.

DPA Phnom Penh