MacKay sees no evil, hears no evil

Defence Minister denies seeing reports on torture in Afghanistan

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he was never made aware of a senior Canadian diplomat’s warning that allegations of prisoner torture in Afghanistan were “serious, imminent and alarming.” An affidavit filed this week with the Military Police Complaints Commission says the reports were widely circulated with the Foreign Affairs and Defence departments a full year before the claims of torture came to light in 2007. At the time, the Harper government claimed it had no credible evidence the allegations were true. However, Richard Colvin, the man behind the first reports of torture, told the Commission he received a reply from senior officials to his initial reports, which included interviews with inmates who showed physical signs of abuse. The Commission’s public hearing into the torture allegations was shut down for at least six months on Wednesday, prompting commissioner Peter Tinsley to blame the federal government’s efforts at stonewalling the inquiry. Both McKay and Stephen Harper could nonetheless be called to testify before the Commons defence committee, which has launched its own investigation into the matter.

Toronto Star

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