Jail sought for ex-UN official convicted of child abuse in Nepal

Kathmandu (AFP) –


Nepali prosecutors said Tuesday they will seek a 13-year jail term for a former United Nations official from Canada found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.

Peter John Dalglish, a 62-year-old former high-profile humanitarian worker, was found guilty by a court on Monday and is due to be sentenced next month.

Dalglish was arrested in April last year in Kavrepalanchowk district, near Kathmandu, by Nepal's Central Bureau of Investigation.

Two boys aged under 14 were at the house where police detained Dalglish, investigators said.

"He was found guilty of paedophilia by the district court on Monday and remanded into custody until his sentence is fixed," Sharmila KC, a Kavrepalanchowk district court official, told AFP.

Dalglish denied the charges.

Lok Bahadur Katwal, government attorney in the case, said prosecutors presented statements by the victims, their medical reports, and photos to the hearing.

"We have sought a maximum jail sentence of 13 years and necessary compensation for the victims in the case," he said.

The next hearing has been set for July 8.

Dalglish, 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 but it merged with Save the Children.

In the last decade, Dalglish has held key positions in UN agencies, including a chief for UN Habitat in Afghanistan in 2015. In Nepal, Dalglish was an advisor in a child program for the International Labour Organization in the early 2000s.

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 15-year-old disabled boy.

In 2010, French charity worker Jean-Jacques Haye was convicted of raping 10 children at a Kathmandu orphanage.