Daniel Menard, former Canadian general, still in Afghan jail
A retired former Canadian general who was removed from command in Afghanistan after he was caught having sex with a subordinate remains in jail in that country facing charges of gun smuggling.
Daniel Menard's employer, the Canadian security company GardaWorld in a statement to CBC News confirmed their employee was still in prison – even though the company had been told two weeks ago that he would soon be released.
“We had understood Mr. Menard’s release to be imminent. We are continuing to work with the Afghan authorities to resolve the matter and secure Dan’s release as soon as possible," GardaWorld spokesman Joe Gavaghan told CBC News.
- Ex-Canadian Forces commander Ménard loses rank
- Brig.-Gen. Ménard quitting military
- Canadian CO relieved of Kandahar duty
At the end of January, CBC News reported Menard's release was imminent, based on that assurance from GardaWorld.
A company spokesman told CBC News Ménard, who was reduced in rank to colonel following the affair, was detained by Afghan officials because of "administrative issues related to licensing of the company's work in Afghanistan," but that "issue has been resolved," and "[Ménard] has his release authority."
Back then, the Afghan Embassy in Ottawa said the details it was hearing from Kabul were "sketchy."
"All we can say at this point is that an investigation is underway to determine his role in the alleged gun smuggling," a spokesman told CBC News.
A newspaper carrying a report from Kabul at the time also alleged Ménard's run-in with the law centred on accusations of possessing military equipment without permission, including 129 rifles and 148 radios.
Ménard is GardaWorld's managing director in Afghanistan, where he's responsible for the company's operations, "including existing and new contracts with the U.S. government, non-governmental and commercial clients," according to the company's website.
Ménard once headed Canada's military mission in Afghanistan. His tenure in the country was cut short in 2010 when he was charged with fraternization for having a sexual liaison with a female subordinate.
He was charged and later pleaded guilty to two counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline, in violation of the National Defence Act.
By the time he was convicted, Ménard had already left the military, but was reduced in rank. He was also fined $7,000.
In 2012, two British employees of GardaWorld were arrested by Afghan authorities and faced similar accusations after being found with 30 allegedly unlicensed AK-47s. At the time, GardaWorld maintained its employees were planning to buy the weapons but wanted to test their functionality on a range first.
GardaWorld also faced a forced shutdown of its operations as a result of those arrests.