Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Ex-UN aid worker jailed in Nepal for sexually abusing boys

Peter John Dalglish, a prominent humanitarian official, was sentenced to terms of nine and seven years in two cases

Canadian aid worker Peter Dalglish, centre, walks towards Kavre District Court in Nepal. Dalglish was on Monday, July 8 jailed for nine years in the country for sexually abusing two boys who were found at his home. AP Photo
Canadian aid worker Peter Dalglish, centre, walks towards Kavre District Court in Nepal. Dalglish was on Monday, July 8 jailed for nine years in the country for sexually abusing two boys who were found at his home. AP Photo

A former UN chief has been jailed for sexually abusing children in Nepal, officials said on Tuesday, after a trial underscoring the country’s appeal among foreign paedophiles.

Peter John Dalglish, 62, from Canada, a prominent humanitarian worker, was sentenced on Monday to terms of nine and seven years in two cases after being convicted last month.

Thakur Trital, a district court official, told AFP that Dalglish had been sentenced for nine years for abusing a 12-year-old boy and seven years jail for molesting another, aged 14.

“The judge is yet to decide whether he should serve a total 16 years in jail or be released after nine years. In most cases of a similar nature, sentences get overlapped but it is upon the judge to decide,” Trital said.

Dalglish has also been told to pay compensation of 500,000 Nepalese rupees (Dh16,670) to each victim.

He was arrested in April last year in the district of Kavrepalanchowk, near the capital, Kathmandu, by Nepal’s Central Bureau of Investigation.

The two boys were at the house, a mountain villa, when Dalglish was arrested, investigators said.

Dalglish denied the charges, and his lawyer could not be reached for comment.

The aid worker, who in 2016 was awarded the Order of Canada – the country’s second-highest civilian honour – made his name as a humanitarian worker advocating for street children, child labourers and those affected by war.

He co-founded Street Kids International in the 1980s, which merged with Save the Children.

In the past decade, Dalglish has held senior positions in UN agencies, including as chief for UN Habitat in Afghanistan in 2015.

In Nepal, Dalglish was an adviser in a child programme for the International Labour Organisation in the early 2000s.

He has spent much of his career focusing on working children and street children.

Investigating officials had said Dalglish lured youngsters from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, then sexually abused them.

Investigators followed Dalglish for weeks after they received a tip-off about allegations of abuse.

Weak law enforcement has made Nepal notorious for sexual predators, with several arrests and convictions in recent years.

In 2015 a Canadian orphanage volunteer, Ernest MacIntosh, 71, was sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually abusing a disabled 15-year-old boy, while in 2010 a French charity worker, Jean-Jacques Haye, was convicted of raping 10 children at an orphanage in Kathmandu.

Updated: July 9, 2019 05:03 PM

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