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

Like father, like son: second generation hockey player joins Campbell River Storm

Wyatt Murray’s father, Ben Murray, played for the team in late 90s

BC Transit rate change, embarking rules shift into action June 1

Campbell River transit system getting a new day pass

Bride thankful ailing stepdad was able to walk her down the aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Province pays $4.08 million for hotel to house fire victims

The Government of B.C. has purchased a new building to help people… Continue reading

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Most Read