ARCHIVED - Board of Inquiry members confirmed to investigate the treatment and processing of certain detainees

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News Release / February 19, 2007 / Project number: NR–07.003

OTTAWA– General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff, has confirmed today the composition of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) to investigate the treatment and processing of detainees by Canadian Forces members in Afghanistan, and the circumstances regarding the transfer of three detainees from a Canadian field element to Military Police at Kandahar Airfield that took place April 6-8, 2006.  The BOI will also include a review of the orders, directives and procedures associated with that process.

Lieutenant-General W.J. Natynczyk, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS), has been appointed the convening authority to provide the BOI sufficient latitude to go beyond the operational chain of command, therefore allowing for a complete review of detainee handling processes.

The VCDS is responsible for issuing written Terms of Reference (ToR) for the BOI. The ToR will identify the officer that will preside over the BOI, its members and advisors, the security classification or designation and the scope under which the BOI will be responsible for investigating and providing findings and recommendations. 

The VCDS has appointed the following members to the BOI: Major-General M.G. Macdonald as the president of the board, Brigadier-General (Retired) G. E. Sharpe and Captain (Navy) P.C. Avis.  In addition the BOI will receive guidance on legal, public affairs, medical, military police and training development issues from a number of advisors.  Chief Warrant Officer W.A. Ford, Chief Warrant Officer J.D. Levesque, will provide operations advice.

A BOI is an administrative inquiry normally convened to examine and report on complex or significant events. It serves to determine, in accordance with the ToR, what occurred, how and why it occurred, looks for problems and proposes solutions to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. The BOI is distinctly different than the ongoing Canadian Force National Investigation Service (CFNIS) investigation. In the case of the CNIS investigation, Military Police trained investigators assess evidence to determine whether or not a criminal offence has occurred, and whether or not there is sufficient evidence to lay charges. 

The BOI conducts its work and meetings separate from the ongoing military police investigation conducted by the CFNIS into the same incident. As such, the BOI will be undertaken in a manner that ensures it does not interfere with the NIS investigation.

At the completion of the BOI, a report containing findings and recommendations will be submitted to Lieutenant-General Natynczyk for review after which it will be forwarded to the Chief of the Defence Staff. The findings, results, and recommendations will then be made public, subject to the limitations on the release of information imposed by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.

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