Defence Minister MacKay Needs to Provide More Information on CF Murder Investigation



    OTTAWA, Jan. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Steven Staples, President of the Rideau
Institute, is calling on Defence Minister Peter MacKay to provide more
information to the public about the incident and the subsequent investigation
that led to Canadian Forces member Capt. Robert Semrau being charged with
second degree murder for allegedly shooting to death an unarmed man in
Afghanistan.
    "The Defence Minister should step forward and provide an explanation of
when he and the government were informed of the incident in question, what is
known about it, and what steps the government is taking to ensure a rigorous
and transparent investigation," said Staples. "Canadians remember Somalia and
do not want a repeat of that scandal in Afghanistan."
    Colonel Jamie Cade, acting commander of Task Force Afghanistan, stated
that his task force learned of the incident on December 27. This was the same
day that Defence Minister Peter MacKay reportedly departed from Kandahar
Airfield after a Christmas visit with troops.
    "The question will be asked whether it was merely a coincidence that the
timing of the investigation spared the minister from having to respond to
reporters' questions about the incident," said Staples. "Minister MacKay
should provide more information as soon as possible."

    The Rideau Institute is an independent research and advocacy organization
with a focus on defence and foreign policy.




For further information:

For further information: Steven Staples, Rideau Institute, (613)
565-9449, cel. (613) 290-2695

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Rideau Institute on International Affairs

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