Special Prosecutor advances charges against Chief Military Judge
June 11, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Independent Special Prosecutor Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Poland has today advanced charges against the Chief Military Judge, Colonel Mario Dutil, for court martial.
Lieutenant-Colonel Poland has completed a post-charge review of the charges laid earlier this year against Colonel Dutil, and has forwarded eight charges to the office of the Court Martial Administrator to initiate the court martial process. The charges under the National Defence Act now include one count of wilfully making a false entry in a document signed by him that was required for an official purpose, one count of wilfully making a false statement in a document signed by him that was required for an official purpose, one count of fraud under $5,000 contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada, one count of an act of a fraudulent nature, one count of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline, and three counts of neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline. The matter will now continue through the court martial process.
Special Prosecutors may be appointed in certain circumstances where there may be an actual or perceived conflict of interest in the conduct of military prosecution duties. Lieutenant-Colonel Poland is an Infantry Officer in the Reserve Force who is the Crown Attorney of the Waterloo Region with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in his civilian career.
“As Special Prosecutor in this case, I have conducted a thorough review of the charges laid against Colonel Dutil. I am confident that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction, based on all of the evidence and the law, and that pursing this prosecution is in the public interest. As in the civilian justice system, no one is above the law, and this matter will continue to progress through the military justice system in accordance with the law.”
– Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Poland, Special Prosecutor
Colonel Dutil was originally charged under the National Defence Act by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service on January 25, 2018. Through a detailed post-charge review, the Special Prosecutor concluded that additional charges were warranted.
When conducting a post-charge review, prosecutors must conduct a two-stage analysis to determine whether or not to prefer a matter for trial by court martial. The Special Prosecutor in this case first considered whether there is a reasonable prospect of conviction should the matter proceed to trial by court martial, and second whether the public interest requires that a prosecution be pursued.
For the purposes of military prosecutions, a Special Prosecutor is an officer of the Canadian Armed Forces who is a member of the bar of a province in good standing and who is not a member of the Legal Branch.
Lieutenant-Colonel Poland is an Infantry Officer in the Reserve Force, currently serving as the Commanding Officer of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada in Cambridge, Ontario. In his civilian career he is the Crown Attorney of the Waterloo Region with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. Called to the bar as a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2000, he holds a Master of Laws Degree in criminal law and his professional practice focuses on managing the prosecution of criminal proceedings in jury and non-jury trials and appeals both at the Ontario Court of Justice and Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Department of National Defence
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