Canada's Chief Military Judge faces three charges, including fraud
A Canadian flag sits on a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in this file photo. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)
Published Thursday, January 25, 2018 3:13PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:23PM EST
Chief Military Judge Col. Mario Dutil faces three charges related to fraud.
The charges, announced Thursday, include one count of an act of a fraudulent nature; one count of willfully making a false entry in a document; and one count of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
The charges are related to alleged offences between Nov. 2014 and Oct. 2015, according to a press release from the Department of National Defence.
The charges were laid by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, an independent investigative unit with the military police.
“Rank or appointment plays no factor in investigating the facts of the matter,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Cadman, Commanding Officer with the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, in a statement.
Col. Dutil has held the role since 2006. A lawyer by trade, Col. Dutil joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1984, one year after he was called to the Quebec Bar.
“The matter is now proceeding in accordance with the Military justice system for possible court martial at a date and location still to be determined,” officials said in a statement.
Judge Advocate General Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez said in a statement that she would not comment on the specifics of the charges, but suggested the case presents “unique challenges” for the military justice system.
“As the Judge Advocate General in charge of overseeing this system, I am fully confident that we have the processes in place to deal with the current circumstances fairly, and in accordance with the law,” Bernatchez said.
“I have every confidence that all actors of the military justice system will continue to perform their duties in a fair, independent and impartial manner. And as in the civilian system, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The Office of the Chief Military Judge, established in 1997, is a judicial branch separate from the military chain of command, in order to maintain judicial independence.
The Canadian Military Judge is appointed by the Governor in Council.
#Breaking— Mercedes Stephenson (@CTVMercedes) January 25, 2018
Colonel Mario Dutil, Chief Military Judge charged with fraud, making a false entry on a document and, faces making a false entry in a document and One count of Conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline #CAF #JAG