Canadian military police have launched an investigation after a soldier was allegedly beaten unconscious by a sergeant during a recent mission in Europe.
The private, a member of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, was admitted to hospital after a beating that took place during off hours, sources told Postmedia.
The Canadian Forces confirmed the soldiers involved were in Germany at the time of the incident, but they were supporting Canadian troops operating in Bulgaria as part of a U.S.-led military exercise.
“On 18 June 2019, a member of 3 RCR deployed as part of a staging team for Exercise SWIFT RESPONSE in Kaiserslautern, Germany was allegedly physically assaulted by another CAF member while off duty,” Canadian Army spokesman Lt.-Col. Doug MacNair said in an email. “The soldier was transported to a local hospital before being brought back to Canada via aeromedical evacuation.”
MacNair said the soldier, who is based in Petawawa, has since returned to duty.
Canadian Forces police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault, but the military noted it cannot comment further on the details until the investigation is completed. “The CAF and the Canadian Forces Military Police take all allegations of offences by CAF personnel seriously, and in all cases, investigations are conducted to determine the facts, analyze the evidence, and if warranted, lay appropriate charges,” MacNair said.
Military police are in contact with other police agencies.
“While the investigation continues, the Canadian Army is concerned for the victim of the alleged assault and have been regularly monitoring their progress via the member’s designated assistant,” MacNair said. The designated assistant is an officer who has been assigned to help the private.
Sources say the alleged attack is not believed to be related to an incident the day before that took the life of another soldier from Petawawa, who was also taking part in Exercise Swift Response.
Bombardier Patrick Labrie, a member of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based at 4th Canadian Division Support Base in Petawawa, Ont., died as a result of injuries sustained during parachute training that was part of the exercise.
The accident occurred around 10 p.m. on June 17 in Cheshnegirovo, Bulgaria.
Labrie was killed and two U.S. soldiers were injured during the night-time parachute jump which took place from a height of 400 metres. A Canadian military police investigation has been started in Labrie’s death. He was jumping from a Canadian aircraft and using Canadian equipment.
Labrie was born in Buckingham, Que.
Exercise Swift Response 19 was a multinational airborne training exercise that took place from June 8 to 27 in various locations throughout Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.