This complaint arose from the investigation and prosecution of the complainant for domestic violence. The complainant alleged that the military police (MP) investigators involved in the case led the witnesses when questioning them, which influenced the evidence subsequently presented against him at trial. At his trial, some charges against the complainant were dismissed at the request of the prosecution, and the complainant was acquitted on the rest. The complainant added that the leading nature of the questions put by the MP members became an issue during the trial.
The Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) conducted a detailed review of the MP witness interview recordings as well as the court transcripts from the complainant's trial.
The MPCC's review of these records revealed that, while there were indeed some leading questions asked by the MP members in their investigative interviews, some were justifiable. Moreover, even in those instances where MP members' leading questions were not justifiable, they had no material impact on the overall tenor and thrust of the witnesses' evidence. As such, the MPCC found the complaint to be unsubstantiated and made no recommendations relative to this case.
Though not raised by the complainant, the MPCC made additional observations in two areas where it was believed that MP Orders could benefit from further clarification: 1) the taking of sworn and videotaped statements of children; and 2) the interviewing of children in the absence of a parent or other support person.
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