Special forces Afghan probe prompts oversight calls

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CBC News, Dec. 1, 2010

There are calls for public oversight of an elite military unit amid allegations that a Canadian soldier was involved in an unlawful killing of an Afghan.

Federal politicians and a former member of the military are making the calls in light of a series of closed-door investigations in Ottawa that have been looking into the explosive claims involving the covert unit, Joint Task Force 2.

The allegations included claims that members of JTF2 witnessed American soldiers killing an unarmed man, and, in a separate incident, that a member of JTF2 killed a man who was surrendering.

Earlier this year, CBC News reported that the first probe, named Sandtrap, looked into the allegations that a Canadian was involved in the 2006 shooting death of an Afghan who had his hands up in the act of surrender. That probe ended without any charges.

Sandtrap Two, which is looking at the claims against American forces, is still ongoing.

The Canadian soldier who raised those allegations said that on New Year’s Day 2008 his team was sent to conduct a mission alongside an American special operations team. He said he witnessed the U.S. forces kill a man who was wounded and unarmed.

The Canadian military is also examining how the chain of command responded to the allegations, and what action it took.

The new details were uncovered by CBC’s Investigative Unit and the Radio-Canada program Enquête.

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