Graham Cleghorn….victim of injustice in Cambodia?

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February 26 2006

NZ ambassador to discuss jailed Kiwi's case in Cambodia

NZPA

New Zealand's ambassador to Thailand has asked to meet with senior Cambodian officials to discuss why an appeal on behalf of a jailed New Zealander went ahead without the man's knowledge.

Former aid worker Graham Cleghorn, 55, was jailed in February 2004 and is being held in Phnom Penh's Prey Sar prison.

He is serving 20 years for the rape of five teenage girls - a conviction he has said he is innocent of.

It has been reported that several weeks ago an appeal had been heard in Cambodia on behalf of Cleghorn, yet he was not notified.

The unsuccessful appeal did not allow Cleghorn to present written statements from all five women he was convicted of raping which stated the sex crimes didn't take place.

The New Zealand Government had already raised concerns at the way Cleghorn's 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.

Ambassador Peter Rider has since approached the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand to outline New Zealand's concerns about the legal processes surrounding Cleghorn's case, while requesting appointments with Cambodia's minister of court of appeal and justice minister.

He has said he will travel to Cambodia as soon as the appointments have been confirmed, reported National Radio.