Crew prepare to raise a flag pole during a tour given by the Canadian Navy of HMCS Winnipeg in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

Crew prepare to raise a flag pole during a tour given by the Canadian Navy of HMCS Winnipeg in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Photo Credit: PC / Jimmy Jeong

Two crew members on Canadian warship face drug charges in Japan

Share

Two crew members aboard a Canadian frigate are facing drug related charges in Japan after they were detained by Tokyo police, says the Royal Canadian Navy.

The pair – a civilian employee and a member of the military – were detained Monday while HMCS Winnipeg, based at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt, in British Columbia, was in Tokyo for a port visit.

The navy said that originally three crew members were detained, including two members of the military and a civilian employee. One of the sailors has since been released, but the other two were charged and are still being detained, Sub. Lt. (N) Melissa Kia told RCI Thursday.

“These allegations are obviously troubling,” said Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier in a written release.

“All of our personnel, military and civilian, are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that brings credit to the navy, the Canadian Armed Forces, and our country as a whole.”

The Canadian military has a zero-tolerance policy for illicit drug use and possession, said the statement.

Japan could exercise primary jurisdiction

It’s not clear at this point whether the two Canadians will face a trial in Japan or will be handed back to Canadian authorities and will be dealt with under the Canadian justice system, said Michel Drapeau, a professor of military law at University of Ottawa.

Japan is a signatory to the Visiting Forces Act under which it could decide to hand over the two Canadians for prosecution by a Canadian court – either in Canada or on Japanese soil. However, under the act, civil courts also have the right to exercise primary jurisdiction and try the suspects in a Japanese court, Drapeau said.

For example, authorities in Halifax have decided to reserve their jurisdiction and try four British sailors charged with sexually assaulting a local woman, even though Britain is also a signatory of the Visiting Forces Act, Drapeau said.

If Japanese authorities decide to hand them over to Canada, the military has a choice to charge them if a corresponding criminal offense exists in the criminal code, or to charge them with disciplinary offences under “conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline,” a catch-all offence to criminalise misconduct that is not specified elsewhere, Drapeau said.

“I don’t think the military will do anything until Japan decides what it wants to do,” Drapeau said.

 HMCS Winnipeg is based out of Esquimalt, B.C. (LS Ogle Henry/HMCS Winnipeg)
HMCS Winnipeg is based out of Esquimalt, B.C. © (LS Ogle Henry/HMCS Winnipeg)

“For now we’ll have to play it by ear,” Sub Lt. Kia said.

The navy is working with the Canadian Consulate and Japanese authorities, and is providing support to the families of the accused, she said.

HMCS Winnipeg, a Halifax-class frigate with a crew of about 250 personnel, deployed from Esquimalt on June 15, 2015, and is on its way back to CFB Esquimalt.

Sub Lt. Kia said HMCS Winnipeg has been on an extensive voyage, during which the frigate took part in three international operations.

The frigate and crew participated in Operation Caribbe, a multinational campaign against drug trafficking in the Caribbean and the eastern Pacific Ocean, before joining NATO forces in the Mediterranean Sea as part of Operation Reassurance.

Share
Categories: International, Society
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*