This afternoon at the MPCC Afghanistan Public Interest Hearings, BCCLA Litigation Director Grace Pastine had the opportunity to cross-examine Lieutenant-Colonel Gilles Sansterre, the head investigator at the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service. The CFNIS is responsible for investigating serious offences committed by Canadian Forces personnel.
We don’t have a copy of the official transcript yet, but the Canadian Press is reporting the following exchange between Grace and Lt-Col. Sansterre:
Q: “So, in fact, no witnesses were interviewed?”
A: “I can’t say for sure, but certainly by the documents we have, it appears that way.”
Q: “And no evidence was collected?”
A: “Again, it appears that way.”
Q: “In retrospect, would you call that an adequate investigation?”
[After some vacillating . . .]
A: “If it’s just those three pages, certainly I can understand why it would appear that way.”
Importantly, Lt-Col. Sansterre also acknowledged that from an investigative point of view, transfer to torture is illegal conduct.
[UPDATE: Grace Pastine, BCCLA Litigation Director and lawyer working on the Afghan detainee file, was interviewed by Rabble.ca. She discusses the testimony given by LCol Sansterre in some detail. The entire interview is available online.]