Report on improper use of weapons delayed
SYDNEY — A report on the improper use of weapons by Canadian Forces reservists has been delayed by several months due to the length of transcripts from a court martial held in Sydney last year.
Evidence presented at the Matthew Wilcox court martial prompted an investigation following Wilcox’s conviction and sentence to four years in prison for criminal negligence causing the death of fellow soldier Kevin Megeney of Stellarton, N.S., in Afghanistan in March 2007.
Wilcox, 24, of Glace Bay, was released on conditions in December pending appeal.
During the 23-day long trial, defence lawyers entered two video clips into evidence which showed soldiers pointing pistols at one another and repeatedly pulling the trigger during training exercises in the lead up to deployment to Afghanistan. Photos entered as exhibits also showed some reservists mishandling weapons prior to and during their Afghanistan deployment.
Canadian Forces spokesperson Capt. Colette Brake, who speaks on behalf of reserve unit 36 Brigade Group, in charge of reservists from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, said Wednesday an interim report was expected by early January, however investigating officers only received court transcripts two weeks ago.
“In order to go through (the transcripts) properly, we now don’t anticipate having an interim report until the end of March,” Brake said.
She said the 36 Brigade Group commander Col. Tom Stinson will review the interim report, and come back with a final report with findings that will be made public.
“Part of the report may lead to other things but the investigation was based on the evidence that came out as part of the trial.
“ The investigation is going to be thorough, which is why it’s probably taking them a little bit more time because of the volume of information they need to go through.”