STRAIT AREA: Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh is heading back to Canadian soil after the former Strait area businessman was released from a Nepalese prison.
MacIntosh’s release comes after serving half of his seven-year sentence stemming from his arrest in 2014 on charges of luring a 15-year-old boy to his hotel room for sex in exchange for money.
Prison authorities in Nepal note MacIntosh’s age and health condition as the reasons for his release and deportation from the country.
Global Affairs Canada can’t confirm MacIntosh’s release due to privacy reasons, but confirm they are aware of a Canadian national who’s being deported from Nepal.
Dale Sutherland, the first local complainant of MacIntosh blames politics for his return to Canada.
The now 75-year-old MacIntosh was convicted of 17 sex-related charges, involving boys from the Strait area dating back to the 1970s. He was acquitted on all 17 charges by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal because MacIntosh’s right to be tried within a reasonable time was infringed.
That is something Sutherland blames on the then Liberal government and in particular Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner.
“I contacted Rodger in 2000 and he knew all about MacIntosh, he did nothing to help any of us,” he said. “He didn’t even push to have the Liberal government at the time to contact India, where MacIntosh had been known to be living.”
Sutherland said it wasn’t until the Conservative government entered office in 2007, that he was able to convince the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay what MacIntosh was doing was in fact considered pedophilia.
MacKay called India and within 24-hours, MacIntosh was arrested.
“India said ‘Why didn’t you tell us about this guy sooner?’ And that was 12.5-years after our government knew about this and never did they pick up the phone,” Sutherland said. “India said they would have arrested him sooner – and if they did, he probably wouldn’t have been acquitted.”
A Canadian warrant was first issued for MacIntosh’s arrest in 1996 but he wasn’t extradited from India until 2007 and wasn’t placed before a judge until 2010.
“It took nearly 13-years because they didn’t consider what MacIntosh was doing to boys that big of a deal. I truly believe people didn’t take it seriously,” Sutherland said.
It is uncertain as to what will happen to MacIntosh once he returns to Canada as it’s being reported he’s in poor health. He may spend the rest of his sentence in prison here, he may spend the remaining time in hospital, or he may walk as a free man.
Bob Martin, another of MacIntosh’s local complainants, questions how the federal government will assist him once he’s back.
“They certainly have not helped the victims in this case, 17-years of delays, passport errors, slack original crown prosecutor.”
A Canadian convicted of sex crimes in a foreign country must register with police within seven-days of returning to the country.
Victims are the last to be officially told any information regarding the release of their offender, but Martin said the public has a right to know his whereabouts.
“He is to register that information voluntarily within seven days of returning to Canada,” Martin said. “Who will police that outcome – I hope there is a way that can be monitored.”