Graham Cleghorn….victim of injustice in Cambodia?

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The Dominion Post
April 16 2007

Corruption case slows appeal
by Matthew Torbit



Long term: Graham Cleghorn, pictured with daughter Heidi Madeley,
is appealing against his 20-year sentence for rape




Jailed New Zealander Graham Cleghorn has had his appeal against his rape convictions stalled amid claims that the Cambodian judge assigned to his case is being investigated for corruption.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Brad Tattersfield said he was aware of reports that the judge assigned to Cleghorn's case was being investigated for corruption, and that an appeal date had not been set. He said the ministry was checking the report.

Cleghorn was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in 2004 after being found guilty of raping five women in his Cambodian home. However, he maintains he was framed by corrupt officials who wanted his land, and has been waiting to appeal against the conviction for more than 40 months.

Cleghorn's daughter, Heidi Madeley, said she had been informed that the unnamed judge scheduled to review his case was being investigated for corruption on unrelated matters, leaving her father's case in limbo.

In February, Cambodian authorities agreed to replace the appeal court judges who were to decide Cleghorn's fate after his lawyer argued that the previous appeal panel would not uphold the appeal to Cambodian law. In February 2006, his original appeal was thrown out after being held in secret without Cleghorn, his lawyer or New Zealand embassy staff present.

Two further appeals were aborted over the next 11 months; the first after none of his accusers showed up in court, the second when officials failed to deliver him to court.

Cleghorn's New Zealand-based lawyer Greg King said he was not aware of the developments surrounding the judge's removal from the case.