Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 15, 2011 13:31 ET

Military Police Investigation into Allegations of Criminal Wrongdoing by Canadian Special Operations Forces Personnel in Afghanistan Concluded

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2011) - The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) has concluded its investigation into allegations of criminal wrongdoing by Canadian Special Operations Forces personnel in Afghanistan. The investigation, known as "Project Sand Trap," found no evidence that criminal acts were committed by any Canadian Forces members.

This investigation was launched after allegations were brought to the attention of the CF Ombudsman's office, and were passed on to Military Police. Due to the serious and sensitive nature of the allegations, the file was assigned to the CFNIS in June of 2008. A full-time investigative task force was assigned to the case, conducting approximately a hundred interviews and collecting evidence in both Canada and Afghanistan. The investigation was divided into two separate files so that the most serious allegations against the CF member could be addressed first.

Phase one of the investigation focused on allegations that a CF member committed criminal acts between 2005 and 2006; namely, two allegations of negligence, one allegation of assault, and one allegation of murder. There was no evidence found to support these allegations; moreover, the investigation determined that the CF member acted within the Rules of Engagement in all instances. Therefore, phase one was closed in October of 2009.

Phase two of the investigation focused on whether CF members failed to properly report serious criminal offences allegedly committed by individuals from other nations in 2007 and 2008. The investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by any members of the Canadian Forces. Information collected during the course of the investigation pertaining to non-CF members was brought to the attention of the appropriate foreign investigative authorities.

"The CFNIS has devoted considerable time and human resources to these investigations," said Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Delaney, Commanding Officer of the CFNIS. "Project Sand Trap was a highly complex undertaking and the investigators collected and analyzed a large amount of information in order to determine the facts in this case. In the end, those facts did not support any criminal charges against any CF members."

The CFNIS is the unit within the Canadian Forces Military Police Group mandated to investigate serious and sensitive matters. Canadian Forces Military Police have jurisdiction over National Defence property, DND employees, and CF personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

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