MPCC-2009-037

This complaint arises out of a series of incidents leading to an investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) into allegations of potential criminal and service offences involving the complainant, then the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Military Security Guard Unit (MSGU) for a Canadian Embassy abroad. During the course of an attempt by the Commanders of the MSGU to have some personal conflict issues settled amongst personnel at the MSGU as well as civilian personnel at the embassy, allegations surfaced suggesting domestic violence may have been occurring between the complainant and his wife. As a result, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the MSGU referred the matter for investigation by the Military Police. The complainant is himself a military police member, thus the matter was referred by the CO MSGU to the CFNIS for investigation.

CFNIS conducted an investigation which included interviews of various witnesses with a view to determining whether there were grounds to believe the complainant or his spouse had committed a service or criminal offence. Ultimately their investigation determined there was insufficient evidence to support such an allegation against either of them.

The complainant’s allegations against the two CFNIS investigators included allegations of improper interviewing procedures, failure to pursue or document evidence properly, improper collection and forwarding of extraneous personal information, and allegations of bias in the conduct of the investigation. He alleged that the CFNIS supervisors failed to properly monitor and assess the investigation, and failed to conclude it and inform him of same in a timely fashion. Finally, he alleged that the investigators and supervisors together misled him for an undue length of time into thinking he was a suspect when he was in fact a potential victim, and he alleged that prejudicial information was improperly forwarded to his Commanding Officer in the CFNIS’s final report.

The Commission found that there was merit to some of the complainant’s allegations concerning failure to properly record or document investigative steps and evidence, and failure to interview certain relevant witnesses. The Commission also found that insufficient consideration was given to the scope of evidence which ought to have been included in the Military Police Investigation Report (MPIR) which was sent to the complainant’s Commanding Officer. However, the Commission found the more serious allegations of improper interview procedures, improper inclusion of certain evidence in the file, biased investigation, inadequate supervision of the file and misleading of the complainant into improperly thinking he was a suspect unsubstantiated.

As a result of its findings, the Commission has recommended that the investigators in this file be reminded of proper recording of evidence and investigative steps, and that training be given generally to MPs on the importance of so doing. It is also recommended that policies and training on the composition of MPIRs be reviewed and revised with particular attention to privacy interests and relevance considerations.

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