Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NZ rapist in court, facing fresh charges




NZ rapist in court, facing fresh charges

NZ rapist in court, facing fresh charges

A NEW Zealand man serving a 20-year prison sentence on rape charges appeared in Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday to face charges of defamation and disinformation filed by an NGO that he has publicly accused of setting him up.

Graham Cleghorn, 62, was convicted in 2004 of raping five teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 who were employed at his Siem Reap home.

He has since claimed in several media interviews that the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre, an NGO that provides services to vulnerable women and children, had paid the five girls US$10,000 each to testify against him.

Cleghorn, who represented himself at yesterday’s hearing, pleaded not guilty to the defamation and disinformation charges.
“What I said through media interviews was accurate,” he said.

He added that he had evidence to support his claims in the form of a letter from a girl stating that a CWCC official had asked her to testify against him in exchange for $10,000.

He said the letter and other documents he would like to present were being stored at the Supreme Court.

“I would like to request you to give me time to contact my embassy and government to help me find a lawyer, and for me to get the documents from the Supreme Court,” he said.

Presiding Judge Din Sivuthy agreed to the request, and scheduled the next hearing for November 15.

Say Vathany, executive director of the CWCC, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

During a recent interview at Prey Sar prison, Cleghorn claimed that the publicity around his case had led to an increase in foreign donations to the CWCC, which had capitalised on “hysteria’’ about paedophilia.

He said he had despaired of clearing his name after the Appeal Court upheld the convictions against him in 2007.

“I’m never going to get a fair trial. The most I can hope for is a reduced sentence,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JIMMY ELLINGHAM

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving