ARCHIVED - Board of Inquiry to examine detainee handling in Afghanistan

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News Release / February 6, 2007 / Project number: NR–07.003

OTTAWA– General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff, directed today that a Board of Inquiry (BOI) will be convened to investigate detainee handling 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 is separate from the ongoing military police investigation conducted by the Canadian Forces Investigation Service (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.

Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, responsible for all Canadian Forces (CF) operations overseas will be the convening authority for the BOI. As such, CEFCOM 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.

A BOI is an administrative inquiry normally convened to examine and report on complex or significant events. It serves to determine what occurred, how and why it occurred, looks for problems and proposes solutions to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. An administrative inquiry such as a BOI and a CFNIS investigation are distinctly different. In the case of CFNIS investigations, Military Police trained investigators assess evidence to determine if a criminal offence has occurred, and if there is sufficient evidence to lay charges. 

At the completion of the BOI, a report will be submitted to Lieutenant-General Gauthier 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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