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Cdn guilty in child sex case

An Order of Canada recipient has been found guilty of sexually assaulting children in Nepal after a police investigation and trial his lawyers describe as a travesty of justice.

Sentencing for Peter Dalglish, expected in about two weeks, could see the well-known aid worker jailed for as long as 13 years.

"This has been like watching a wrongful conviction unfold in real time," Dalglish's Canadian lawyer, Nader Hasan, said in an interview Tuesday. "We have deep concerns about the process here, both from the perspective of procedural fairness of the court proceedings as well as certain tactics taken by the police and the state."

The judge, who rendered his verdict late Monday, has yet to release his reasons for the guilty finding. Dalglish, 62, has denied any wrongdoing.

Originally from London, Ont., Dalglish has spent years working around the globe. Nepalese police arrested him in the early hours of April 8 last year in a raid on the mountain home he had built 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 with him.

Pushkar Karki, chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, said at the time Dalglish lured children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, and then sexually abused them. Karki said other foreign men in Nepal had also been arrested on suspicion of pedophilia.

"There have been some instances where they were found working with charities," Karki told the New York Times. "Our laws aren't as strict as in foreign countries, and there is no social scrutiny like in developed countries."

According to his lawyers, the investigation appears to have originated with rumours at a school in Thailand where Dalglish had been a board member. They say an investigation found no evidence of misconduct.

However, a complaint to the RCMP during that time appears to have led to an Interpol "red flag," prompting Nepalese police to open an investigation.

Hasan said the Nepalese legal system, which operates largely in secrecy, bears little resemblance to anything in Canada — or many other countries. Among other problems, courts do not record proceedings or produce transcripts, leading to confusion about what witnesses actually said.



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