by charles amsellem
Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2002 at 5:34 PM
cartoon c 2002 by charles amsellem
Mountie Fired For Speaking Out
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RCMP Constable Cpl Robert Read will likely loose his job after being found guilty of what was described as disgraceful and outrageous misconduct by a board of senior officers. The three officer board announced on friday, April 12, that he must resign in 10 days or be dismissed. His crime? Corporal Read, was blowing the whistle on corruption of diplomats at the Canadian high commission in Hong Kong. The Canadian mainstream media has described the case as the need for the public's right to know against the need for police secrecy. After a senior officer ordered Read to drop the case on alleged lack of evidence, the Corporal went public with the story, contacting the RCMP public complaints commission and reporters about the situation.
The disciplinary board sought to fire Cpl Read on the grounds that he disobeyed orders from his superiors about keeping quiet about it and he violated the oath to secrecy by providing confidential documents to the commission and the reporters. He alleges that Canadian immigration officials in Hong Kong accepted money from local wealthy families who made deals with the high commission. Hong Kong immigration official Brian McAdam, stated that criminal records of some visa applicants believed to be associated with organized crime have been deleted from the system. Cpl Read, who has been on the case since 1996, is convinced that senior officers in the RCMP actively suppressed his case. Eventually, Mr. McAdam approached the investigative CBC-TV show, Fifth Estate. A few months later the Coporal approached them as well and that's when his troubles with the mounties really began. According to Mr McAdam, who testified at the disciplinary board, the RCMP are trying to destroy Cpl Read's career. McAdam was portayed by the prosecutor as a conspiracy theorist. An author of a key computer security report related to the case told the tribunal that his bosses told him not to talk to Cpl Read.
This latest ruling by senior officers within the RCMP is indicative of corruption within the mounties that goes all the way up to the highest levels of Canadian government. A noted investigative researcher of the RCMP, Paul Pelango states that , "The intent and integrity of the RCMP have been subverted by the political process." In an article entitled 'How The RCMP Fell Under the PMO' , Pelango states in relation to their activities that "Politicians were not only aware of what the police were doing, but were able to comment on police operations. This is an extremely unhealthy relationship, and when I reported on it in my book Above The Law, it went largely unremarked." Pelango, who has also published The Last Guardians about the mounties states that, "In Canada, the rule of law has been usurped by the rule of politics, and the Mounties have been transformed - particularly at the highest echelons - into a force politically subservient and consciously aware of what its masters want. . . This loss of separation between the government and the police means that the public interest is not being served."
The RCMP, who's disciplinary board admited that Corporal Read is an honest and well intentioned mountie, have found the 26 year veteran guilty of misconduct. This ruling, according to Read's lawyer, David Yazbeck, may have a deterrent effect on people who would otherwise speak out about wrongdoings at any level of Canadian government. Read and his lawyer will appeal the decision to the commissioner of the RCMP and then to Federal court.