POLITICS

Canadian men pleased Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh jailed in Nepal for abuse of child

03/02/2015 03:48 EST | Updated 05/02/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Two men who testified against Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh say his conviction in Nepal for the sexual abuse of a nine-year-old boy is both a relief and a painful reminder of how the system failed to bring him to justice in time in Canada.

MacIntosh, 71, was sentenced Sunday to seven years in prison in Nepal for sexually abusing a minor boy, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The Lalitpur district court also said the visitor to the Asian country was ordered to pay US$10,000 to the victim.

MacIntosh was convicted of multiple counts of abusing four boys in the Port Hawkesbury, N.S., area in the 1970s, but those convictions were overturned by a higher court that ruled it took too long to bring the former businessman to trial.

Bob Martin said the conviction in Nepal was a relief after the disappointment of MacIntosh's release from jail in Nova Scotia.

"It's good to see that Nepalese officials managed to do in about 49 days what Canadian officials failed to do over 15 years," the 57-year-old photographer said in a telephone interview from Port Hawkesbury.

"It's embarrassing that another country has brought him to the forefront."

Martin said he and Dale Sutherland worked with a Toronto lawyer to assemble a timeline of the Canadian court proceedings against MacIntosh and sent it to police and the prosecution in Nepal after a friend in Halifax translated the records into Nepalese.

Martin said he has carefully monitored MacIntosh's movements since he got a new Canadian passport after his release in 2013 to travel overseas working as a spice salesman.

Jonathan Rosenthal, the lawyer who worked with Martin on the file, said the records were noted in the Nepalese judgment.

"I urged them (the two men in Canada) to provide the documents because I wanted to make sure the Nepalese authorities knew this wasn't just another sex tourist," said Rosenthal.

Sutherland said in an interview that he remains concerned that somehow MacIntosh may again appeal and secure his release.

The resident of Dawson Creek, B.C., said he was pleased by the conviction, but it is hard for him to believe MacIntosh will remain behind bars.

"I was happy with the seven-year conviction, but he's obviously going to fight that, try and appeal it," he said.

MacIntosh was detained by the Nepalese police in December after the victim filed a complaint with police. Details of the victim were not given because he is still a minor.

Police said he lured the boy to his hotel room in Lalitpur, a suburb south of the capital, Kathmandu.

MacIntosh arrived in Nepal on a tourist visa in August 2014, and has been a frequent visitor to the children's shelter where the boy lived.

Allegations that MacIntosh was sexually abusing boys in the 1970s surfaced in 1995, when MacIntosh was living in India.

The former businessman wasn't extradited until 2007, and the first of his two trials in Nova Scotia didn't start until 2010. His convictions were quashed in April 2013.

The Justice Department couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the MacIntosh case, but the victims in Canada did receive an apology almost 18 months ago. Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the 14-year delay in bringing MacIntosh to trial was a miscarriage of justice after an internal review pointed to human error and breakdowns in communications by provincial and federal officials in the case.

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