Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 21, 2008 15:56 ET

Board of Inquiry Convened to Investigate Circumstances of Alleged Assault by Afghan National Security Forces

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2008) - LtGen Andrew Leslie, Chief of the Land Staff, today announced that a Board of Inquiry has been convened at CFB Kingston to investigate the circumstances surrounding the allegations made last June of assault by Afghan National Security Forces members in the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in late 2006 or early 2007.

MGen Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Land Force Doctrine and Training System, is the convening authority and appointed BGen Glenn Nordick as the Board President leading a team of a minimum of eight members and advisors.

"We will examine and report on these allegations to determine what may have occurred, the circumstances surrounding these allegations, what the Canadian Forces responsibility is in instances such as these, what actions were taken as a result, and to make specific recommendations for the future," said BGen Nordick. "Given the sensitive nature of these allegations, we will make every effort to involve and fully inform the Afghan government as we progress."

"The Board of Inquiry will identify and interview all appropriate and available witnesses, and obtain all available relevant records and documentary evidence, consulting all pertinent legislation, regulations, orders, directives and instructions," added BGen Nordick. "We will determine whether the allegations can be substantiated and whether such incidents were reported by the chain of command or other Canadian Forces networks, and the outcome."

The Board of Inquiry will determine whether the incident, and the Canadian Forces response to it, resulted in changes to any applicable orders or directions, whether any similar incidents were reported since 2006 and if the response was adequate, having regard to all circumstances.

Upon completion of the work being conducted by the Board of Inquiry, a report will be forwarded to the Chief of the Land Staff. The findings, results and recommendations will be made public, subject to the limitations on the release of information imposed by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.

The Board of Inquiry is expected to be completed in the spring of 2009.

Note to Editors:

This BOI is not to be confused with the ongoing BOI into in-theatre handling of detainees, but rather stems from allegations reported in the media of possible abuse of Afghan minors by Afghan National Security Forces.

For more information on the Board of Inquiry including regular updates from the President, please refer to the Board of Inquiry webpage at www.forces.gc.ca.

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