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#5333: Charged captain trains officers (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.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
National Post

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 
military manner."

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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