Canada

RCMP whistle-blower fighting for job

RCMP tries to fire whistle-blower of alleged corruption at Canada's Hong Kong mission

An RCMP officer is fighting to keep his job after blowing the whistle on alleged corruption at the Canadian mission in Hong Kong in the early 1990s.

Robert Reid is facing an RCMP adjudication board in Ottawa that began hearings on Monday.

Reid said he was acting in the interest of Canadians when he went public with allegations that Canada's mission in Hong Kong was selling phoney visas to the highest bidders.

He says his preliminary investigation uncovered evidence of a problem that he believed could compromise the country's immigration system. According to Reid, his superiors ignored his information.

"I went on stress leave over this situation and finally I became stressed to the point where I went public with my allegations in 1999," said Reid.

Reid was suspended with pay by the RCMP shortly after he went public. Another officer, Sergio Passen, took over the investigation and ultimately concluded that Reid's allegations were baseless.

But under cross-examination Wednesday, Passen admitted he did not interview a key witness until after he finished his final report. Reid's lawyer says proper procedures were not followed.

Brian Radford, lawyer for the RCMP, won't comment on the testimony. "There are some policy reasons that justify the actions that the RCMP has taken against Corporal Reid and the reason why we're having these matters adjudicated before a board," Radford said.

The RCMP does insist it had every right to suspend an officer for what the force calls "disgraceful behaviour."

The hearing is expected to last another week, after which the board will decide whether Reid should be fired.