Ottawa Citizen

Anti-vax soldier faces mutiny charge

Ladislas Kenderesi urged Forces to refuse `unlawful order' to distribute them


A soldier who called on his fellow military personnel to refuse helping with the distributi­on of COVID-19 vaccines has been charged with an offence related to mutiny.

It's believed to be the first time in decades that the Canadian military has laid such a charge.

Officer Cadet Ladislas Kenderesi was charged with one count of “endeavouri­ng to persuade another person to join in a mutiny,” an offence under the National Defence Act. Kenderesi was also charged with one count of behaving in a scandalous manner unbecoming of an officer.

The charges were laid May 12 by the Canadian Forces National Investigat­ion Service, defence officials told the Citizen.

Kenderesi had appeared at an anti-lockdown rally in December in Toronto dressed in his Canadian Forces uniform and speaking out about the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming it was a “killer.”

He called on military personnel not to be involved in government plans to distribute the vaccine. “I'm asking military, right now serving, truck drivers, medical, engineers, whatever you are, do not take this unlawful order (for) the distributi­on of this vaccine,” Kenderesi said at the rally. A video of his speech was posted on YouTube.

Kenderesi, who had a civilian hunting knife strapped to his Canadian Forces uniform and was carrying a non-Canadian helmet, questioned the safety of the vaccine.

“I might get in a lot of s--- for doing this, but I don't care anymore,” he said.

The crowd cheered his speech. Department of National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillie­r said the charges will proceed through the military justice system. “OCdt Kenderesi was removed from performanc­e of military duties following the December 2020 incident,” Le Bouthillie­r said.

Kenderesi is a member of the Reserve Cadet Instructor Cadre in Borden, Ont., according to the Canadian Forces.

Kenderesi's supporters filmed military officials reading the charges against him and posted that to a GoFundMe page for the officer cadet. The page noted Kenderesi “was charged on May 12, 2021, for speaking out against the experiment­al gene therapy on Dec. 5 at the human rights assembly at Dundas Square in Toronto.”

The page said Kenderesi faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted, but defence sources say such punishment is highly unlikely.

Kenderesi is also featured in the GoFundMe page video before meeting with Canadian Forces officials. “I'm just saying a small prayer for myself, and a prayer for Canada and Canadians, that hopefully my efforts and what I have done is not in vain,” he said in that video.

The GoFundMe initiative is to collect money for Kenderesi's legal expenses.

If he desires, Kenderesi has access at no cost to a lawyer provided by the Department of National Defence, Le Bouthillie­r said. “While the charges have been laid, it is currently in the referral process and no court martial has been scheduled,” he added.

Ottawa lawyer Michel Drapeau said the laying of a charge related to mutiny is unheard of in the Canadian Forces in modern times. “You would likely have to go back to the late 1940s in the Royal Canadian Navy for anything that might be similar,” said Drapeau, a retired colonel who specialize­s in military law.

His book, Military Justice in Action, noted three incidents involving widespread protests against military leadership in the late 1940s. In those cases, Canadian sailors rebelled against incompeten­t leadership and poor conditions on ships, but the navy avoided using the official term of mutiny. But military personnel were charged and received jail sentences.

“An initial search through files in the past 20 years has not found any charges related to endeavouri­ng to persuade another person to join in a mutiny,” Le Bouthillie­r added.

Organizers of the anti-lockdown rally claimed Kenderesi had served in a variety of units and was qualified as a tank driver and machine-gunner, and was skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

He was introduced as “the original Canadian patriot” and an officer cadet with 25 years of experience.

The Cadet Instructor­s Cadre is part of the Cadet Organizati­ons Administra­tion and Training Service, a sub-component of the Reserve Force. The primary responsibi­lity of CIC officers is the supervisio­n, administra­tion and training of cadets from 12 to 18 years old.

Organizers of the rally said Kenderesi was on medical leave from the Canadian Forces at the time he spoke. He remains in the military “pending the outcome of the charges,” the Canadian Forces noted.

Shortly after the rally in December, Canadian Forces officials retrieved Kenderesi's uniform and military issued equipment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada