Peter John Dalglish. Image/Screenshot/Global Citizenship Awards

Canadian aid worker Peter Dalglish set to appeal child sex conviction in Nepal

He is accused of sexually assaulting two children in Nepal

A prominent Canadian aid worker convicted of sexually assaulting two children in Nepal is set to argue he was the victim of a police conspiracy and unfair trial.

In legal materials ahead of his appeal, expected to be heard Jan. 7, Peter Dalglish alleges a host of problems with the investigation and court process he says led to his wrongful conviction and nine-year prison term.

“A conspiracy was created on the backs of youths who were enticed to lie and damage the reputation of an innocent man, who has spent his life helping those in need, particularly children and youths,” Dalglish’s lawyers argue in their appeal brief. ”In doing so, they have brought the rule of law and the justice system of Nepal into disrepute.”

Originally from London, Ont., Dalglish, 62, was convicted last June and later sentenced to nine years in prison. The Order of Canada recipient has denied any wrongdoing and has assembled a new legal team to fight his conviction.

Nepalese police arrested him in the early hours of April 8, 2018, at his mountain home in the village of Kartike, east of the capital of Kathmandu. Police alleged he had raped two Nepalese boys aged 11 and 14, who were in his home.

On appeal, Dalglish says the investigation was carried out jointly by Nepalese police and the organization Sathi, which aims to expose child predators. He maintains both pressed witnesses into providing damaging information.

“The police offered bribes and incentives to potential witnesses and their families in exchange for damaging information about the defendant. They threatened those who could not be bought,” the appeal brief states. “Although the police and Sathi may have begun this investigation in good faith, when they found nothing, they resorted to tactics that have led to unreliable evidence.”

Dalglish’s lawyers maintain the two boys provided various accounts of what allegedly occurred before recanting their accusations. They say medical examinations turned up no DNA or other evidence indicating he had sexually assaulted them. They say police searches of his home were illegal and, despite court findings, turned up nothing incriminating.

For example, they say investigators seized photographs police characterized as evidence of child pornography. Dalglish’s lawyers counter that one of the pictures shows his daughter and family friends — in bathing suits — at a summer cabin in Ontario.

READ MORE: Canadian aid worker charged with child sexual abuse in Nepal

READ MORE: Canadian aid worker jailed 16 years in Nepal for sex assault of boys

Dalglish’s lawyers also argue his trial was grossly unfair. Among other things, they say he had no translator for the proceedings in Nepalese, which he doesn’t speak. They say he was made to sign documents he didn’t understand, and was not allowed to meet his lawyer privately.

None of the appeal claims has been tested in court.

At the time of his arrest, Pushkar Karki, the chief of Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau, accused Dalglish of luring children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, then sexually abusing them.

Andy MacCulloch, a 40-year friend, said Dalglish is a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

“There’s an incredible amount of evidence that this is a frame job,” MacCulloch said. “They presumed him to be guilty.”

One of Dalglish’s lawyers is B.C.-based Dennis Edney, who co-represented former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr.

Dalglish co-founded a Canadian charity called Street Kids International in the late 1980s. He has worked for several humanitarian agencies, including UN Habitat in Afghanistan and the UN in Liberia.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wilf Smith Memorial Curling League Lions Cup Bonspiel a hit

Special Olympics curlers team up with other league members in annual Quesnel competition

Colourful characers and important messages introduced in Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish

Indigenous storytellers spin a tale from the Kwantlen First Nation July 31 in Quesnel

Forestry Ink: Building soil health through biodiversity

Regular columnist Jim Hilton shares information from the TRU soils conference

Quesnel Waveriders make a splash in Kelowna

Quesnel swimmers Seth Reddemann and Hollyn Rowsell competed in the KAJ Snowfest Jan. 17-19

Kersley Farmers Institute’s winter workshop highlights opportunity and connection

The workshop featured a new networking event and a full day of presentations and updates in Quesnel

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Most Read