KATHMANDU, Dec 27: Nepali victims of a French pedophile who was recently sentenced to 10 years in jail by a criminal court in France are unlikely to get compensation.
While sentencing Jean Jacques Haye, who was arrested in Nepal on the charge of sexually abusing eight Nepali boys, on November 9, the Assize Court of Paris, the French Criminal Court, had ordered the convicted pedophile to provide the victims with anything from € 5,000 to 10,000.
Haye, 61, is less likely to be able to provide compensation to any of the victims, since he has not been in any kind of income-generating activities for at least three years now. According to sources, Haye does not possess any kind of immovable property either, within France or elsewhere.
According to Krishna Thapa, director of Voice of Children (VoC), which is active in supporting sexually-abused children, the French government has set up a fund for the victims of child sexual abuse in case some convicted criminal has no property at all to comply with court order for compensation. However, Thapa says, the fund can only be used if victims are French citizens. It is, therefore, uncertain if the Nepali victims, sexually exploited by Haye for almost 13 years from 1986 to 1999, will receive the compensation money, despite being entitled to it following the court´s order.
Thapa, who went to France to give a statement against Haye in the French court along with six of the eight victims, said a written letter has been sent to the French Ministry of Justice, requesting the government of France to assist in providing compensation money to the Nepali victims.
"Though the victims are not French citizens, the perpetrator is a French national. Moreover, the court, which convicted Haye of sexual abuse, is also an organ of the French government," Thapa said. "This is why we have argued that the French government must help compensate the victims."
A haunting past
All eight Nepali children, who were constantly abused by Haye at a children home in Chhauni of Kathmandu, have grown up by now. However, they are yet to overcome the ordeal as was proven by the fact that one of them had to resign from his job, failing to endure his traumatic past.
One of the victims, who was serving as a Nepal Army (NA) solider, resigned from his job only a couple of years ago. When asked during counseling he said that he resigned because he was constantly bullied by his colleagues. "He was unable to overcome the trauma," said Thapa. "He always hated what he was forced to do. The past haunts him."
He is not alone; all the victims hesitate to speak about the suffering they underwent. Six of them, now in the age group of 20 to 30 year, make their ends meet by working as manual laborers. Of the remaining two, one is in some gulf country and the other is in Nepal police. All of them hate to recount the past.
A sick criminal
The life Haye lived seems to be that of a mentally-ill criminal. Haye, who arrived in Kathmandu for the first time in 1986, constantly abused Nepali street children until 1999 when some of the victims dared to expose him.
Although no foreigner can stay in Nepal more than five years on a visit visa, Haye lived in Nepal for 13 years. In 1999, with the help of one of Haye´s aides, some children mustered courage to speak against him on record.
After Haye´s arrest, a medical test of his victims conducted by Kanti Hospital proved that they were indeed abused. The police then raided Haye´s room and seized naked pictures of the abused children. Two different cases against Haye were filed in District Court of Kathmandu. In the proceedings that followed, the court dismissed the major charge of sexual abuse since the petitioner failed to attend the hearing. In the second case of overstaying the visa, the court banned him from entering Nepal for five years, till 2007.
The VOC, with the support of some international non-government organizations, again filed a case of sexual abuse against Haye at a French court. The court released him on a conditional bail and instructed him to appear in the court every week. However, in 2005, defying the ban on his entry into Nepal, Haye landed in Kathmandu, apparently to evade the trial.
Haye had entered Nepal on a forged passport. In 2009, Haye was again arrested for illegally entering Nepal and fined Rs 706,091. But, Haye failed to deposit money to pay off the fine. "I have no money," Haye repeatedly told officials at Department of Immigration (DoI), that had fined him.
Haye told the DoI official that it was his love for his wife that brought him to Nepal. Haye had married a Nepali woman in his previous stay. However, the officials, who had interrogated Haye, say it is Haye´s sexual obsession for children, which makes him indulge in risky affairs one after another.
This is really sick, and I for one feel the French Government should just ante up the compensation, and I hope the GoN figures out a way to apply some pressure to make that so. People importing this western disease should be punished and made accountable, no matter where they are from.