A New Zealand national living in Siem Reap town says the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center lodged an unfounded complaint with police accusing him of holding six women hostage at his residence in the town.
Graham Cleghorn, 54, a resident in Siem Reap province for more than a decade, said he will launch a campaign to have donor funding cut for the women’s organization following a police search of his house Saturday.
A Siem Reap court official would not say who lodged the complaint. But Cleghorn said court officials told him the complaint came from the CWCC.
Siem Reap Court Prosecutor So Vat said he issued the search warrant because of allegations that Cleghorn had sexual relations with some of the females living at his house.
The courts also suspected the residence was being used as a brothel for tourists. The women living in Cleghorn’s house didn’t corroborate the information, So Vat said.
Bun Thareth, bureau chief of Siem Reap Investigation Police, said the investigation did not turn up any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Cleghorn.
Nine people, including Cleghorn’s Cambodian wife, were questioned by police.
“This is pure character assassination. Those women work helping my wife around the house,” Cleghorn said. “I welcome the police investigation.”
Cleghorn said he will seek a meeting with the CWCC to discuss the issue.
A staff member at the Siem Reap office of CWCC said Wednesday that she didn’t know anything about the case. But she said the organization inquired about the results of the investigation.
The six females and two males living at the house were interviewed but said nothing improper was taking place. The eight said only that they worked as domestic staff for Cleghorn, Bun Thareth said. One of the eight is 13 years old. The others are between 19 and 27 years.
Bun Thareth said the case is still under investigation.