Media Advisory Article from  National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Publication Bans sought for Wilks Court Martial

January 10, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

On January 9, 2017, pre-trial motions began for the general court martial of Ex-Petty Officer, 2nd Class James Wilks, a former Canadian Armed Forces medical technician. He is being tried on eight charges with respect to six complainants; seven charges of breach of trust by a public officer and one for sexual assault.

A mandatory publication ban has already been ordered in respect of the complainant in the sexual assault allegation. The prosecution will also be seeking publication bans on the names and other information that could identify the five other complainants. These bans are being sought in order to protect the privacy of the complainants. The application for these further bans will be made on January 12, 2017 or as soon after as the court can accommodate.

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Media Contacts:

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca  

Annex:

Notice of Application for Order Restricting Publication

Take notice that an application for a publication ban will be made before Chief Military Judge Colonel M. Dutil (hereinafter referred to as the CMJ), at Asticou Centre, Block 2600, Courtroom 2601, 241 Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes, Gatineau, Québec on Thursday, the 12th day of January, 2017 at 1300 hours or as soon as practicable thereafter for an order prohibiting the publication of the names of the complainants referred to in the Charge sheet.

The grounds for this application are:

1. The Respondent is charged with seven counts of breach of trust by a public officer, and one count of sexual assault against six complainants.

2. At all material times and places, the Respondent was employed by the Canadian Armed Forces (hereinafter referred to as the CAF) in the Regular Force as a medical technician.

3. On 9 January 2017 the Prosecution requested and the CMJ granted an order banning the publication of the name of the complainant who is the subject of the sexual assault allegation.

4. The CMJ ruled that the remaining complainants were not subject to the provisions dealing with mandatory publication bans and invited the prosecution to submit a formal application for a discretionary order to be granted banning the publication of the names of the remaining complainants.

5. The legal basis for such discretionary order is found at section 179 of the National Defence Act.

6. The order requested is necessary for the proper administration of the justice in that it is in the interests of society and the CAF to encourage the reporting of offences and the participation of victims in the military justice system.

7. The complainants in respect of whom the publication ban is sought have requested this protection of their privacy.

8. Such further and other grounds as counsel may advise and this Honourable Military Court may permit.

In support of this application, the applicant relies upon the following:

9. The oral submissions of counsel.

10. Such further and other material as counsel may advise and this Honourable Court may permit.

The relief sought is:

11. An Order banning the publication of the names of the complainants in the charge sheet.

The estimated time required for oral submissions by the Applicant is 30 minutes.

The applicant may be served with documents pertinent to this application through

Maj A.J. van der Linde
Maj M. Pecknold
Canadian Military Prosecution Service
National Defence Headquarters
101 Colonel By Drive
South Tower, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K0

Dated at Ottawa, Ontario this 10th day of January, 2017.


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