Politics

Sajjan defends delay in completion of inquiry into military college suicides

​Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is speaking up for his department in the face of angry complaints from family members who want to see the results of an internal inquiry into the deaths of three Royal Military College students.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is speaking up for his department in the face of angry complaints from family members who want to see the results of an internal inquiry into the deaths of three Royal Military College students.

Sajjan says that while he understands their frustration, defence officials want to make sure they do a thorough job on the inquiry into the deaths of Harrison Kelertas, Brett Cameron and Matthew Sullivan.

The three young men are believed to have taken their own lives in separate incidents in 2016, though officials have yet to confirm any official cause of death.

Formal hearings wrapped up early last year, but military lawyers have spent the past year reviewing the final report, prompting concerns that the Defence Department is whitewashing the results.

The Royal Military College inquiry is one of 15 involving suspected suicides by military personnel that are currently under review, according to the Department of National Defence.

While most were launched in 2016 or after, one dates back to 2011.

Officials won't say much about that inquiry, except that the board responsible for investigating the case was reconvened in 2015 to address unanswered questions, and that the final report is awaiting approval.

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