Director of Military Prosecutions Withdraws All Charges against Chief Military Judge
March 11, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Director of Military Prosecutions announced today that he has withdrawn all charges filed against the Chief Military Judge, Colonel Mario Dutil.
Colonel Mario Dutil was facing four charges: wilfully making a false statement in a document signed by him, fraud, committing an act of a fraudulent nature and conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
The withdrawal of charges comes after careful consideration of the decision from the Federal Court dismissing the Director of Military Prosecutions’ application for judicial review. The Director of Military Prosecutions will not be appealing the Federal Court decision and has decided that it is in the best interest of the public and the administration of military justice to withdraw the charges and bring the court martial to an end.
“All members of the Canadian Armed Forces, regardless of rank or appointment, are held to the same, highest standard of conduct. In this specific case, alleged wrongdoing was reported and investigated by proper authorities, charges were laid and moved forward in accordance with the law. However, after conducting a detailed review of the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss my application for judicial review, and carefully considering all circumstances surrounding this case, I believe that it is no longer in the public interest to proceed with this trial.”
Colonel Bruce MacGregor, Director of Military Prosecutions
Colonel Mario Dutil was originally charged under the National Defence Act by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service on January 25, 2018 with one count each of an act of a fraudulent nature, willfully making a false entry in a document signed by him that was required for an official purpose, and conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
In February 2018, the Director of Military Prosecutions appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Poland as a Special Prosecutor to carry out military prosecution duties in relation to the charges laid against Colonel Dutil.
In June 2018, the Special Prosecutor advanced additional charges against Colonel Mario Dutil. The Special Prosecutor referred eight charges for court martial to the office of the Court Martial Administrator.
The Deputy Chief Military Judge was in receipt of the charges in August 2018; he assigned himself as sitting judge in January 2019 and set the matter for a June 2019 trial.
On 10 June 2019, Colonel Dutil appeared before the court martial. Of the 8 charges he was facing, 4 were withdrawn by the prosecutor.
On 17 June 2019, the assigned military judge, Deputy Chief Military Judge, Lieutenant-Colonel Louis Vincent d’Auteuil, recused himself and refused to assign an alternate military judge.
Upon the adjournment of the court martial, the Director of Military Prosecutions applied to the Federal Court for judicial review of the non-assignment decision of the Deputy Chief Military Judge.
On 3 March 2020, the Federal Court found that the Deputy Chief Military Judge’s decision not to assign one of the three available military judges to preside at Colonel Dutil’s court martial was reasonable and refused the remedies sought by the Director of Military Prosecutions.
Department of National Defence
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