MPCC-2002-017-Interference

Facts and Complaint

An interference complaint was submitted to the Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission following a training accident in which crewmembers were injured. The complainant, a Military Police superior, alleged that three Military Police members arrived on the scene to investigate the accident and were turned away by the unit chain of command (the subject of the complaint) who advised them that, as it was a training accident, the Military Police members were not required.

Further, the complainant alleged that the Military Police members were impeded when they attempted to interview members of the unit. This allegation stemmed from a second incident, which occurred a few days later when the subject of the complaint would not allow Military Police members to interview members of his unit until he first spoke to the investigators.

Findings of Canadian Forces Provost Marshal on Investigation by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

  1. The Military Police Members' Action

    Following the training accident, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (“CFNIS”) was asked by a Military Police detachment to investigate the alleged incident of obstruction/interference. The investigation revealed that the Military Police investigators did not feel that the subject of the complaint had attempted to impede them in their investigation.

    Furthermore, the subject of the complaint had requested to speak with the Military Police investigators prior to their interviews with the injured members of his unit, as he was concerned for the well being of his soldiers. He also wanted to be certain that there would be no conflict between his investigation of the accident and the Military Police investigation. The investigation report stated that the subject of the complaint did not demonstrate a willful intent to obstruct the investigation.

  2. Interference with the Investigation

    The complainant indicated that, although he had not been involved in the incident, he filed the interference complaint with the Complaints Commission because he thought it was his duty to do so after the obstruction/interference complaint was submitted to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service by a Military Police member under his command.

Findings and Conclusions of the Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission

On the basis of the materials and information provided by the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards and after reviewing the interference complaint, the Chairperson concluded that the Complaints Commission has no authority under subsection 250.19(1) of the National Defence Act to examine this complaint. Subsection 250.19(1) of the National Defence Act (“NDA”) limits interference complaints to Military Police members conducting or supervising an investigation. In this case, the complainant had neither conducted nor directly supervised the investigation.

The Chairperson considers that the complainant acted appropriately in bringing this matter to the attention of the Complaints Commission and stated her intention to raise her concerns about the limitations of this subsection during the five-year review of the National Defence Act.

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