of injustice in
Judge Thou Mony had reserved
judgment after a mostly closed hearing last week during which three of the
five victims appeared and were cross examined by
In handing down his judgment Tuesday, Judge Mony said he found no conflict in the statements given by the women, who have stated that Cleghorn, 60, raped them while they were employed at his home as live-in workers.
Judge Mony further said he found no grounds to reopen the investigation, as previously requested by Cleghorn's legal defence, Bou Nou Ouk and Partners. Law firm head, Ouk Ry, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Cleghorn was arrested in 2003 and sentenced in Siem Reap provincial court in 2004 in a case spearheaded by prominent local women's group, the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center (CWCC). Last week's appeal was his ninth attempt to have his case reheard.
A CWCC representative said before the verdict that the group would see Cleghorn's release as an injustice, but made no comment after the sentence was upheld.
Cleghorn, a former tour guide, has maintained his innocence, claiming powerful interests had engineered his arrest in order to obtain his valuable land located on the edge of the Angkor Wat temple complex and that he was framed by the CWCC.
Cleghorn's family said Tuesday they were devastated, and despite expecting to lodge a case with the Supreme Court - Cleghorn's last legal avenue - feared he may now be a suicide risk.
'The family is in shock and we are completely dismayed that Dad's witnesses were again not allowed to speak,' one of Cleghorn's five daughters, Heidi Madeley, said by email. 'We continue to believe these witnesses hold the key to proving that dubious methods were used to extract testimonies from the other women.
'It has to be asked - who stands
to gain by keeping those witnesses quiet?
The CWCC has been at the center of controversy over allegations about its methods but has strenuously and consistently denied any wrongdoing and has called Cleghorn's claims 'ridiculous.'
CWCC's founder and former director Oung Chanthol has been awarded honours for her women's rights work both before and after the allegations. She resigned from her position earlier this year.