Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 18, 2011 11:00 ET

Investigation Into Allegations by Afghan Language and Cultural Advisor Concluded

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2011) - The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the independent investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police, has concluded its investigation into the allegations made by Mr. Ahmadshah Malgarai before the House of Commons' Special Committee on Afghanistan on April 14, 2010 with respect to his time spent employed as a language and cultural advisor in Afghanistan from July 2007 to July 2008. The CFNIS investigation determined that no service or criminal offences were committed.

Following his testimony, the CFNIS launched an investigation into the following:

Mr. Malgarai stated that during a Canadian operation, an unarmed Afghan male was shot by Canadian Forces (CF) personnel, and that a weapon was subsequently planted on this unarmed male by Canadian soldiers. The investigation revealed that there was a Canadian led operation in the area on June 18 and 19, 2007 that resulted in the death of a 17 year-old male. Based on interviews with those individuals directly involved including Afghan witnesses, and a detailed examination of the evidence, the individual was determined to be an armed threat and a legitimate target. No criminal or service offences were committed in relation to this incident.

Mr. Malgarai alleged that during a meeting between an official of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Canadian officials from the Canadian Forces and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), the NDS refused to accept a sick detainee. According to Mr. Malgarai, when the Canadian officials insisted, the NDS official removed his pistol, proposed that the detainee instead be killed and offered to cover up the incident. The CFNIS interviewed the CF and DFAIT persons directly involved, and they confirmed that a meeting had taken place with a NDS official where a question was raised about a detainee's medical condition prior to transfer. However, neither CF nor DFAIT officials present had any recollection of a gun being exhibited nor that the detainee's life was threatened during this meeting. This detainee remained in Canadian custody and received medical care until he recovered sufficiently to be transferred.

Mr. Malgarai alleged that another detainee's medical condition was made worse as a consequence of the CF refusing to accept medication brought for his use by a member of his family. The name of the detainee and the details provided by Mr. Malgarai to the House of Commons' Special Committee were not accurate. The CFNIS investigation determined from interviews with medical professionals and medical records, that during this timeframe, there was a detainee with a different name who underwent life-saving surgery to remove a kidney due to a pre-existing medical condition that no medication could have treated. As such, the CFNIS found no evidence that actions by CF personnel could have adversely affected the detainee's health.

Although the CFNIS contacted Mr. Malgarai during this investigation, Mr. Malgarai declined to provide any additional information other than what he had stated in front of the Special Committee.

"The Military Police take all allegations of offences by Canadian Forces personnel very seriously. The Canadian Forces Military Police, as the police agency of primary jurisdiction, thoroughly investigated the allegations made by Mr. Malgarai," said Lieutenant-Colonel Gilles Sansterre, Commanding Officer of the CFNIS. "Thorough interviews were conducted with members of the Canadian Forces, DFAIT, as well as Afghan civilians. In the end, no evidence was found supporting any wrongdoing by Canadian Forces personnel, and no charges were laid."

The CFNIS is an independent Military Police unit with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to National Defence property, DND employees, and CF personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

For more information about the CFNIS, please go to http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2824

For more information about the CFNIS Investigation Process, please go to http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2960

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