Nepal court jails ex-UN official for child abuse

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A close up of Peter John DalglishImage source, Postmedia News Files
Image caption,
Peter John Dalglish served as head of UN-Habitat in Afghanistan

A former UN official has been jailed in Nepal for sexually abusing children.

Peter John Dalglish, 62, from Canada, was detained near Kathmandu in 2018 and convicted last month.

He was sentenced to nine years for abusing a 12-year-old boy and seven for molesting a 14-year-old boy. It is unclear if the terms run concurrently.

Dalglish, a high-profile humanitarian worker since the 1980s, had denied the charges and his lawyer told Reuters he would appeal.

"Due process has not been fulfilled during the investigation in the case. So we'll appeal," the lawyer, Rahul Chapagain, said.

Dalglish was also ordered to pay compensation of 500,000 rupees ($4,600; £3,600) to each victim. Both boys were in his house when he was arrested.

"The judge is yet to decide whether he should serve a total 16 years in jail or be released after nine years. In most cases of a similar nature, sentences get overlapped but it is upon the judge to decide," a district court official told AFP news agency.

Dalglish was a well-respected humanitarian, involved in projects across the globe. In 2016, he was awarded the Order of Canada - the country's second-highest civilian honour - for his work with disadvantaged children.

He co-founded Street Kids International in the 1980s, which later merged with Save the Children.

More recently, Dalglish held senior positions in UN agencies, including head of UN-Habitat in Afghanistan in 2015.

In Nepal, Dalglish was an adviser to the International Labour Organization in the early 2000s.