(OTTAWA) Military police have charged retired Lt. Gen. Trevor Cadieu with two counts of sexual assault, three months after the longtime officer hung up his uniform and made his way to Ukraine while still under criminal investigation.
Updated yesterday at 5:49pm.
Lee Berthiaume The Canadian Press
The charges were announced Wednesday by Canada’s Military Police Chief, Brigadier General Simon Trudeau, Provost Marshal of the Canadian Armed Forces, and relate to incidents alleged to have taken place in 1994 at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.
Trevor Cadieu, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, was due to take command of the Canadian Army last September. A veteran of Bosnia and Afghanistan, he recently analyzed and advised the Chief of Defense Staff.
However, his appointment as army commander was suspended when military police investigated what were described as “historic allegations” against him, which Trevor Cadieu called false in a statement at the time.
He then retired in early April as the investigation continued. Sources not authorized to comment on his whereabouts said he traveled to Ukraine to help fight the Russian invasion.
Trevor Cadieu said in a statement: “I have just been informed that I have been indicted by the CFNIS (Canadian Forces National Investigation Service). I am making arrangements to return to Canada from Ukraine and will continue to participate in this process as I have from the beginning. »
Meanwhile, Mr. Trudeau defended the decision to indict Trevor Cadieu of the military police, amid a request by retired Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbor to transfer sexual criminal investigations from military authorities to civilian authorities.
The Provost Marshal noted that Ms Arbor had left the door open to leave the investigation to the Military Police when it was nearing completion, adding: “As these investigations were nearing completion, the Civilian Police Service decided to conduct the concurrent.” Jurisdiction for not accepting them. »
A similar decision was made in the case of retired Vice Admiral Haydn Edmundson. The former army personnel chief was charged with sexual assault and indecent behavior in December and his trial is set for August 2023.
Trevor Cadieu’s case is being tried by the civil judiciary.
He is one of several senior commanders who have been investigated by military police over the past two years for alleged sexual misconduct.
These allegations have forced the military to recognize its inability to act against inappropriate behavior. They have also sparked criticism of the Liberal government’s handling of the issue and called for greater external oversight of the military.
Trevor Cadieu strongly denied any wrongdoing in a statement last autumn, saying: “The allegations are false but they must be fully investigated to bring the truth to light. He said he provided investigators with information to prove his innocence.
The retired officer also said at the time he asked General Eyre to choose someone else to command the Canadian Army, adding: “I know these misrepresentations are expected to cast doubt on my ability to lead in this environment.” »
Trevor Cadieu’s decision to travel to Ukraine followed an order from General Eyre, which banned serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces from joining the thousands of foreigners pouring into the country to help fight the Russian invasion .
Russia has reportedly threatened criminal prosecution for any foreigner caught fighting in Ukraine, while a senior Canadian officer last month raised the specter of an attempt by Moscow to use captured foreign fighters for propaganda purposes.