Hiestand Public Interest Investigation (MPCC‑2022‑017, MPCC‑2022‑041, MPCC‑2022‑043) – Homepage
On November 21, 2022, the then-Interim Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC), Bonita Thornton, decided that the MPCC would conduct a joint Public Interest Investigation into three separate complaints concerning the actions of members of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) as well as members of a Canadian Forces base Military Police Detachment. The complaints all relate to the Military Police handling of a sexual assault investigation. Six weeks after charges were laid in the case, the accused, a Canadian Armed Forces member, died by suicide.
The first two conduct complaints were brought by close relatives of the deceased Canadian Armed Forces member. These two complaints take issue with the CFNIS investigators’ alleged failure to interview, or receive evidence from, the accused prior to deciding to lay sexual assault charges against him. They also allege that the CFNIS failed to conduct an impartial and thorough investigation.
The third conduct complaint is from a former Military Police member who witnessed alleged wrongdoing by Military Police members at the local detachment, when the alleged sexual assault was initially reported to them. A key issue in this complaint is the alleged failing to record the alleged victim’s initial police interview, despite the Military Police having the means to do so. The complainant also objected to the assignment of inexperienced Military Police members to conduct the interview.
Given the seriousness of the allegations, the fact that the Canadian Armed Forces’ handling of sexual misconduct is already a matter of public concern, the public interest the case has received and that three different parties have submitted complaints about this Military Police investigation, then-Interim Chairperson of the MPCC, Bonita Thornton, decided to conduct a public interest investigation into the three complaints.
Further details on the complaints are available in the Decision to Conduct a Public Interest Investigation.
Updates on the progress of the investigation will be posted in the "Timeline".
For information, please contact:Michael Tansey
Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
Telephone: 613-947-5625 (local) or 1-800-632-0566 (toll free)
|November 21, 2022||Decision to Conduct a Public Interest Investigation|
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