Canadian aid worker appeals conviction in Nepal
A prominent Canadian aid worker convicted of sexually assaulting two children in Nepal wants to argue in his appeal that he was the victim of a police plot and that his trial was unfair.
In documents submitted to the court, Peter Dalglish lists a number of problems he identified in the investigation and the judicial process that led to an wrongful conviction and a nine-year prison sentence.
The appeal is scheduled for debate on January 7.
“A conspiracy has been mounted on the backs of young people who were tricked into lying and harming an innocent man who has spent his life helping those who need it, especially children and young people, plead lawyers for Dalglish in their memory. In doing so, they discredited the rule of law and the Nepalese justice system. ”
A native of London, Ontario, Dalglish, 62, was convicted in June and later sentenced to nine years in prison. The recipient of the Order of Canada denied having committed any wrongdoing and hired a new team of lawyers to challenge the verdict and his conviction.
Nepalese police arrested him in the early hours of April 8, 2018 in Kartike, east of the capital Kathmandu. According to her, the Canadian raped two Nepalese boys, 11 and 14 years old respectively, who were at his home.
Pressure on witnesses
On appeal, Dalglish maintains that the investigation was carried out jointly by the Nepalese police and the Sathi organization, the aim of which is to denounce child predators. He maintains that pressure was exerted on the two witnesses to provide harmful information.
“The police offered bribes and other incentives to potential witnesses and their families in exchange for harmful information about the accused. They threatened those who could not be bought, says the brief. Although the police and Sathi may have started this investigation in good faith … they used tactics which led to unreliable evidence. ”
According to Dalglish’s attorneys, the two boys provided various accounts of what would have happened before reversing their charges. They add that medical examinations revealed no trace of DNA or other evidence indicating that their client had sexually assaulted the two young people. They also claim that the searches by the police were illegal and, despite the findings of the court, found nothing incriminating.
For example, among the alleged evidence of child pornography seized by the police are photographs of Dalglish’s daughter and family friends in swimsuits. The photos were taken near a chalet in Ontario.
The lawyers describe the trial as having been unfair, claiming the absence of a translator for their client. They add that he was forced to read documents which he did not understand and that he was not allowed to meet with his lawyer in private.
Andy MacCulloch believes his friend was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
“There is an incredible amount of evidence that this is a set-up. The authorities presumed him guilty. “