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#5333: Charged captain trains officers (fwd)
From: Charles Arthur <email@example.com>
>From Canada's National Post newspaper, October 16, 2000
Charged captain trains officers
Accused in Haiti probe: Ratté innocent until proven guilty, military says
by James Cudmore
An infantry officer accused of ordering his troops to intimidate and abuse
teenaged looters during a 1997 peacekeeping mission in Haiti has been
appointed to the Canadian Forces new leadership training school for
In August, three months after being charged with two counts of "conduct
prejudicial to the good order of service discipline," Captain Pascal Ratté
was assigned to the Enhanced Leadership Model Implementation Team, where he
is one of a handful of officers drawn from across the country to create a
new curriculum for training officers joining the Canadian Forces.
In July, the National Post reported that while Capt. Ratté was still a
lieutenant and deployed as a platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion of the
Van Doos to Haiti, he and another officer, Captain Claude Langlois, issued
orders for their soldiers to intimidate and rough up Haitians suspected of
infiltrating the Canadian Camp Maple Leaf, near Port-au-Prince.
A classified military board of inquiry raised to look into issues of
misconduct arising from the deployment determined that several soldiers in 9
Platoon -- commanded by Capt. Ratté -- blindfolded, assaulted and threatened
Haitian civilians who had tried to infiltrate their camp.
Two soldiers, Sergeant Carl Pineault and Corporal Stephane Ouellet, have
since been convicted of abusing Joyce Myko, a 15-year-old Haitian boy
suspected of looting within the camp.
The two soldiers testified to the board of inquiry that they were following
orders from their commanders, Capt. Ratté and Capt. Langlois, when they
assaulted the boy.
When questioned, the two captains denied the allegations that they ordered
their soldiers to "blindfold," "intimidate," "scare," and "be rough" with
infiltrators and told the board that they were acting on orders from
Lieutenant-Colonel Alain Brisebois, their commanding officer, who had given
instructions to apprehend infiltrators in "a dominating, professional and
But in its report, the board of inquiry did not support that conclusion, and
sent a letter to Lieutenant-General William Leach, the former head of the
army. "The members of the [board] are of the unanimous opinion that
sufficient evidence exists to justify the laying of charges," they wrote.
"An acting company commander and a platoon commander instructed their
subordinates to intimidate and rough up Haitian civilians who infiltrated
[the camp]," the letter said.
Although both officers were charged with the same offences on the same day,
only Capt. Langlois, the company commander, has been called to stand before
a military judge.
Major Louis d'Auteuil, the military lawyer who is prosecuting the two
captains, said that the case against Capt. Langlois had become bogged down
by procedural arguments. He said that after seven months, Capt. Ratté had
yet to find a suitable defence lawyer and would likely not face court
martial until well into next year.
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Milot, commander of the implementation team, said
there was no problem having an officer facing misconduct charges and
imprisonment employed on his leadership team and stressed Capt. Ratté was
innocent until proven guilty.
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