July 11 2007
Morning Report: Graham Cleghorn
Robinson (GR): Hes nearly 60 years old, his family and friends fear hell die
in a Cambodian jail - New Zealander Graham Cleghorn has had his appeal
on his rape convictions and his 20 year sentence rejected by a Cambodian
court. But now his lawyers are turning their attention to the Supreme Court
as Kate Williamson (KW) reports.
KW: Graham Cleghorn was convicted in February 2004 of raping five young women
who had worked at his home. Yesterday a court upheld the original verdict. Cleghorns
daughter Heidi Madeley says the family is in shock, and is devastated by the
news. This was the New Zealanders eighth attempt at an appeal after three
years of adjournments in the Cambodian justice system. Cleghorns NZ-based
lawyer Greg King (GK) says its dire news.
GK: Grahams 60 years old now. Hes still got 17 years to go with that sentence
of 20 years. Hes in a prison. He continues to have very poor health. So the
prospects of him surviving till hes nearly 80 in that environment are pretty
remote I would have thought. Its a death sentence, and its just very, very
KW: Mr King says defence witnesses were not able to be called in court during
last weeks hearing. He says the court only seemed to endorse the original
conviction, despite that hearing only lasting nine hours and not allowing
defence witnesses to be heard. A supporter of Cleghorns, Dr Lynley Hood (LH),
says his family had pinned a lot of hope on this appeal.
LH: There are irregularities in the Cambodian justice system that boggle the
mind, but for once they felt things were going fairly well. They felt a
change in the climate from the last appeal.
KW: Supporters of Cleghorn say he was set up by the Cambodian Womens
Crisis Centre while he was living and working in the country.The New
Zealander has always maintained his innocence. The Crisis Centre could not be
reached for comment last night, but in the past it has denied the
allegations. A website has now been set up in support of Cleghorns case. One
of the founders Brian Robinson (BR) says the fight will go on.
BR: It appears that the Cambodian courts have not taken into account the full
story behind what had actually happened. What he actually needs is a full
investigation, and the story of what has happened needs to be publicised
KW: Cleghorns Cambodia-based lawyer Ouk Ry is now turning is attention to
Cambodias Supreme Court, a process which could take up to six months. NZ
lawyer Greg King has been in touch with Mr Ry.
GK: Hes confident that an appeal can be heard in the Supreme Court within
about four to six months, but I have to say, its taken us three years to get
to the Court of Appeal, how much quicker it will be to get from the Court of
Appeal to the Supreme Court is anybodys guess.
KW: A NZ diplomat attended yesterdays court appearance and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs says it will continue to offer consular assistance to
Cleghorn while hes in prison. But for now his family is very afraid hell die
there, without receiving a fair trial. His daughter Heidi Madeley is now
focussing on trying to get someone out to see her Dad, to check on his
condition. For Morning Report, Kate Williamson.