Divide over soldier probe

The dismissal of a soldier last week from the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) over the removal of a box of ammunition has raised questions about criminal charges being made against him.

The high command of the BDF has indicated that the matter is being dealt with by the police, but police are saying they have nothing to do with it.

The 34-year-old corporal was attached to the BDF for 14 years.

Reports indicate he was caught three weeks ago at the BDF’s shooting range at Paragon, Christ Church, with a box of ammunition. He was subsequently dishonourably discharged following certain statements he made during a BDF internal investigation.

When contacted about this matter, BDF Chief Of Staff, Commodore Errington Shurland, told the DAILY NATION the matter was being investigated by police.

“The only thing I can say is that it is a police matter and I would defer to them to make any statement

on that,” he said, emphasising that the former soldier was not court martialled by the BDF.

“If the matter is being dealt with by the police, then he can’t get court martialled or get any kind of military discipline if the civil court is going to deal with it. It is not a military investigation at this stage. There can’t be double jeopardy,” he stressed.

No investigation

However, when contacted, police communications and public affairs officer, Inspector Rodney Inniss, said police were not involved in the investigation.

“That is not being investigated by the police at this stage. That is a matter being investigated by the military police – which would be the police at BDF. So I don’t have any further information on that. We don’t have that being investigated as we speak,” he said.

The DAILY NATION then reached back out to Shurland who expressed surprise at the comments made by police and insisted the matter was under their jurisdiction.

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