Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
John Ward, Canadian Press
September 30, 2008
OTTAWA – A defiant military police watchdog agency has decided, despite government objections, to widen public hearings into the way Canadian soldiers handled detainees in Afghanistan.
The Military Police Complaints Commission will expand its hearings into allegations by Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Union that the Canadians handed detainees over to torture by Afghan authorities.
In the complaint filed in 2007, it was alleged that military police handed over prisoners on at least 18 occasions even though there was evidence of torture in Afghan jails.
The commission now will widen the time frame of its investigation by a year. It will also go beyond the issue of whether the transfers of detainees were appropriate, looking as well at whether senior officers failed to investigate allegations of torture by Afghan authorities.