Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Credibility problem

Investigations held in secret, run by the RCMP, and returning a "not guilty" verdict against Canada's top military cop.

Hmmmm....secret, RCMP, top cop not guilty. Do they see why there might be a bit of a credibility problem here?

Top military cop cleared in secret investigation into Afghan detainees

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada's top military cop was cleared Tuesday of potential criminal wrongdoing in the ongoing legal controversy involving Afghan detainees.

The Canadian army says there's no evidence to support a prosecution of naval Capt. Steve Moore, the provost marshal.

The conclusion was reached following an investigation by two senior RCMP officers, who'd been called in by the military after allegations of abuse of Taliban prisoners surfaced last winter.

...[A]mnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association complained last February to the Military Police Complaints Commission, accusing military cops of exhibiting "a wilful blindness to the consequences of transferring detainees and that they may have aided or abetted the torture of detainees."

"...[A]mir Attaran, the University of Ottawa law professor who's been pushing the issue of detainee rights, was mystified at how RCMP investigators could clear the provost marshal when Defence Minister Peter MacKay acknowledged the alleged cases of abuse last spring, when he was foreign affairs minister.

"Peter MacKay has said Canadian investigators have heard, quote, serious allegations of torture; he called them serious, that was his word," said Attaran.

Paul Champ, a lawyer for Amnesty, said in addition to fighting for the Afghan documents, his group has launched a charter challenge, hoping to quash the government's power to force secret hearings on court applications.

"The government secrecy privilege is an exceptional power that should only be used sparingly in a democracy," he said.

"Holding hearings in secret doesn't allow for oversight by the justice system, the media and the public."

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