Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 05, 2010 15:25 ET

Captain Semrau Sentenced Following Court Martial Proceedings

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2010) - Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Guy Perron, a Canadian Forces Military Judge, has sentenced Captain Robert Semrau to dismissal from Her Majesty's service and reduction in rank to second-lieutenant following his conviction for disgraceful conduct for shooting an unarmed and wounded insurgent. The incident occurred on October 19, 2008, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

"This was a serious and complex matter and it was dealt with accordingly," said Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Canadian Forces Chief of Land Staff. "Canadian soldiers are well versed in the laws of war and are expected by the Canadian Army to maintain the highest standards of conduct. We remain committed to reinforcing the laws of armed conflict as part of the education and training undertaken by every member of the Canadian Forces."

Capt Semrau was arrested on December 31, 2008, by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and charged with second-degree murder while deployed in Afghanistan as Commander of an Operational Mentor Liaison Team. Capt Semrau was released from custody with conditions on January 7, 2009. On September 17, 2009, three additional charges were brought forward to a Court Martial, which began on January 25, 2010, at the Asticou Center in Gatineau, Québec.

On July 19, 2010, a military panel comprised of four Canadian Forces (CF) members found Capt Semrau guilty of disgraceful conduct, and not guilty of second degree murder, attempted murder and negligent performance of a military duty for the same incident.

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