Officials Deny N Zealanders’ Bribe Allegations NZ Paper

An Appeal Court judge denied New Zealand media reports that court officials allegedly requested a $12,000 bribe in exchange for the freedom of New Zealander Gra­ham Cleghorn, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for raping five girls.

The New Zealand Herald reported Tuesday that Cleghorn’s daughter, Heidi Madeley, had raised allegations that bribes were requested for her father’s freedom and that the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Min­istry is looking into the matter.

Appeal Court Judge Thou Mony, who headed the three-judge panel that upheld Cleghorn’s verdict on July 10, denied that bribes were requested and warned that if such allegations were stated publicly in Cambodia, he would sue.

“She has her rights, but if she speaks in Cambodia, I will sue,” he said before declining further comment.

The New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok did not respond to questions e-mailed Tuesday.

Madeley claimed by e-mail from New Zealand Wednesday that there is evidence to support allegations that Appeal Court judges requested bribes, but declined to ela­borate as to what that evidence was.

“There is documentary evidence to back the allegations, but the matter is currently the subject of a high level investigation and I cannot comment further at this time,” she wrote.

Another New Zealand paper, The Dominion Post, quoted Greg King, Cleghorn’s lawyer in New Zealand, as claiming that Madeley was asked by Cleghorn’s Cam­bodian lawyer, Ouk Ry, for $12,000 to pay off judges prior to the appeal hearing.

But Ouk Ry on Tuesday denied that there was any discussion between him and Cleghorn, or his family, about bribing Appeal Court judges to overturn his client’s 2004 guilty verdict.

“We never discussed bribing judges,” he said before declining to comment further.

King did not reply to questions e-mailed Tuesday.


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