Russell Williams no longer a colonel

Convicted serial killer officially stripped of his rank


 

Gen. Walter Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, issued a rally-the-troops message this afternoon to all soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, outlining the administrative steps the Canadian Forces has taken against convicted killer Russell Williams. The disgraced air force colonel will not only be stripped of his rank, booted from the service, and forced to pay back his salary since the day of his arrest, but he is also the first officer in Canadian military history to have his commission revoked by the Governor-General.

The commander of CFB Trenton until his shocking arrest, Williams is now in a solitary jail cell at Kingston Penitentiary, serving the first days of a life sentence for a heinous string of sex crimes that included the brutal rape and murders of two women: Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, a 37-year-old corporal stationed at his base; and Belleville, Ont., resident Jessica Lloyd, 27. In his memo, Natynczyk described the ordeal as “deeply upsetting,” but reiterated that there are no legal grounds to either revoke Williams’ hefty pension or subject him to a court-martial.

“I wish to point out that under the CF superannuation act, there are no grounds to revoke his pension and a court martial would not have any impact on these accrued benefits,” the general wrote. “Some have questioned why Mr. Williams has not also been charged under the military justice system. I believe we need to understand why this is so. This is because there is no jurisdiction under the code of service discipline to try persons charged with murder where those murders took place in Canada. Mr. Williams was therefore tried and convicted of all of these 88 charges under the Criminal Code of Canada by a civilian court. Additionally there will be no further court martial on these matters because the National Defence Act specifically prevents an individual from being tried by court martial where the offence or any other substantially similar offence arising out of the same underlying facts have been previously dealt with by a civilian court. This basic principle sometimes known as ‘double jeopardy’ is fundamental within our civilian and military justice system. With his current convictions and sentence to life imprisonment justice has already been served.”

Below is a copy of the Natynczyk’s complete email, obtained by Maclean’s:

CDS Message: Mr. Russell Williams

1. On 21 Oct 10, Mr. Russell Williams, former Commander of 8 Wing, was sentenced to two concurrent terms of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murders of Cpl Marie France Comeau and Mrs. Jessica Lloyd.

2. The crimes committed by Mr. Williams are deeply upsetting to us all. Over the last few months, I have spoken with many of you in town halls across the country and on missions overseas. Like all Canadians, you and I have been shocked and repulsed by the crimes he committed.

3. During these conversations, you expressed your sympathy and compassion for the victims and the families affected by this terrible tragedy. I also listened to Canadian Forces personnel of all ranks as they expressed their bewilderment and anger at the betrayal of our institutional ethos of truth, duty, and valour. Because of his heinous crimes and his subsequent criminal conviction, Mr. Williams has lost the privilege of calling himself a member of the CF community.

4. With the conviction and sentencing completed, and following my recommendation, the Governor General has revoked his commission, an extraordinary and severe decision that may constitute a first of its kind in Canadian history.

5. Further, the following actions will now be taken:
A. Stripping Mr. Williams of his medals
B. Termination and recovery of his pay from the date of arrest
C. Denial of severance pay; and
D. His prompt release from the CF under “service misconduct” – which is the most serious release item possible.
6. As a consequence of his release from the CF for “service misconduct” and of the revocation of his commission, Mr. Williams no longer possesses a rank as a member of the CF.

7. I wish to point out that under the CF superannuation act, there are no grounds to revoke his pension and a court martial would not have any impact on these accrued benefits.

8. Some have questioned why Mr. Williams has not also been charged under the military justice system. I believe we need to understand why this is so. This is because there is no jurisdiction under the code of service discipline to try persons charged with murder where those murders took place in Canada. Mr. Williams was therefore tried and convicted of all of these 88 charges under the Criminal Code of Canada by a civilian court. Additionally there will be no further court martial on these matters because the National Defence Act specifically prevents an individual from being tried by court martial where the offence or any other substantially similar offence arising out of the same underlying facts have been previously dealt with by a civilian court. This basic principle sometimes known as “double jeopardy” is fundamental within our civilian and military justice system. With his current convictions and sentence to life imprisonment justice has already been served.

9. Now more than ever, this is a time for us to come together and heal as a community. We are doing everything we can to assist those in need of counselling or other support. I urge anyone who is feeling upset or concerned to seek assistance and to talk about it. While doing so, we will not forget Cpl Marie France Comeau, Mrs. Jessica Lloyd, and the many other victims and their families who will remain in our thoughts and prayers forever.

10. It is time to move forward, be strong and proud because the actions of Mr. Williams are not reflective of the values of the men and women who serve in the CF, whose integrity and self sacrifice come through loud and clear in words and deeds each day. Whether helping Canadians at home, abroad, or providing the hope of a better future to the people of Haiti, Africa or Afghanistan, I have seen our ethos of truth, duty, and valour at work and making a difference in the world. You have reason to hold your head high. Be strong and proud! I am proud to be your Chief of the Defence Staff.

General W.J. Natynczyk, CDS


 

Russell Williams no longer a colonel

  1. In regards to electing officials we have a lot to consider. Another Canadian executive has gone rogue, Williams being the recent other. Mr. Mullins Johnson was convicted beyond the shadow of a doubt and served 12 years of a wrongful conviction for a heinous murder. Dr. Charles Smith was the pathologist who went bad and turned in false work thus sending many innocents to prison.

    This habit we've gotten into of setting up squeeky clean, super square, hyper moralistic, evangelical, overly ritualistic executives to run our offices is problematic. As a point of fact I must say that since 1990 over 100 Members of Parliament have been found guilty of indictable offences ranging from bribery, fraud, breach of trust and theft and also includes a Senator sent to jail. That is a far higher rate of indictable criminality then exists in the rest of society.

    These people in turn are capable of creating unsuitable laws for the rest of society. We need to think about mandatory minimum jail time and perhaps even a discussion of capital punishment when it comes to political malfeasance and white collar crime. Perhaps our faith in the social contract would be enhanced. Perhaps a different breed would reach for the top.

    • I agree with Mr.Berger.

      I would like to add this to his comments . I would like to see and hear as much disdain anger and feelings of betrayl for the women who are sexually harrassed+ raped while serving I would like to see and hear how disgusted the army feels when a member of the armed forces comes home with PTSD and not much is being done to help. I would like them to be disgusted that once the army, navy, air force suits come off, you’re on your own. Too many are alone suffering in poverty isolation. It takes a dramatic ever first in the history of Canadian Forces to feel betrayed, but what about your everyday life that goes on during and after service.

      Yes what the XColonel Williams did is horrific. But please people of the Military don’t react like someone just P….

      On your white pristine snow.

  2. Every time I post here google removes Macleans from the top of the page news web site.

  3. Marilyn;
    Good riddance to Williams. We must change our laws. 25 years is considered a life sentence? Life means that you die in prison and you are buried in a numbered plot on the grounds.

  4. Michael Friscolanti reports on Friday, October 22, 2010 4:07pm that Col. Russell Williams is no longer a colonel. I think it high time that McLeans magazine acknowledge this fact by stopping referring to this monster as such–just received my Nov 1/'10 subscription issue and there, ON THE COVER, we find him bold as brass in uniform with rank intact. This shows a great disrespect to our citizens and fighting personnell and he should never be shown in uniform again.

  5. can't u somehow seize the 8 grand from this creep
    peter pan