OTTAWA — Canada’s chief military judge is in the witness box during his own court martial, where he is speaking about his personal and professional relationship with his deputy — who is the presiding judge for his trial.
The surreal scene is the latest twist in an unprecedented legal case, in which Col. Mario Dutil is facing eight charges, including two of fraud and four of violating the military’s code of conduct.
The relationship between Dutil and deputy chief military judge Louis-Vincent d’Auteuil has figured prominently through the first two days of the court martial thanks to a motion for d’Auteuil to recuse himself from the case.
Dutil’s lawyer asked d’Auteuil, who appointed himself to hear the case, to step away.
Philippe-Luc Boutin says d’Auteuil is too intertwined in the case because of his ties to the chief military judge and his previous knowledge of the some of the allegations, and that it perhaps should have been sent to the civilian system.
Military prosecutors, however, are defending the decision to try Dutil via court martial, saying several of the charges are not in the Criminal Code but fall exclusively under military law.
The Canadian Press