Report flags flaws in probe of soldier’s suicide
OTTAWA — In a damning indictment of Canada’s military police detectives, a federal report issued Tuesday says there were “serious flaws” in the investigations of the suicide of Afghanistan war veteran Stuart Langridge, with poorly supervised officers seemingly unable to cope with even basic policing techniques.
The Military Police Complaints Commission’s (MPCC) 1,008-page final report includes 46 recommendations aimed at improving military policing, especially in “sudden death” cases.
Of three investigations related to Langridge’s suicide, the commission says the first, in 2008, was conducted without any plan or direction and the second, in 2009, without a clear understanding of what was being investigated.
The third, in 2010, was supposed to investigate allegations by Langridge’s parents, Sheila and Shaun Fynes, that the military had been negligent in its treatment of the late veteran, but the military police exonerated Langridge’s chain of command without actually conducting the investigation.
Military police commanders at the Office of the Provost Marshal have rejected or ignored all but a few of the recommendations in the three-volume report and last week attempted to keep their responses secret, prompting a political and public relations backlash.
In a reversal Tuesday, Provost Marshal Rob Delaney issued a statement praising the commission and its report.
“We welcome this report and will carefully review the MPCC’s findings and recommendations accordingly,” he said. “I would like to also offer my sincere apologies to Mr. and Mrs. Fynes.”