Former top military commander pleads guilty to obstruction of justice charge | CBC News

Canada’s former top military commander has pleaded guilty to a single charge of obstruction of justice in the highest profile case in the crisis of sexual misconduct that has shaken the Defence Department to its foundations.

Jonathan Vance was charged by military police last summer in relation to an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Vance appeared virtually in an Ottawa court where he entered the guilty plea on Wednesday morning.

The judge accepted a joint request from both the Crown and defence and sentenced him to a conditional discharge, plus 12 months of probation.

His lawyer, Rodney Sellar, read a number of letters of support into the court record. Vance, upon sentencing, chose not to address the court.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) laid the single charge against Vance but did not provide details. 

The CFNIS said only that the charge relates to events that happened after the military police began investigating Vance over an allegation of misconduct on Feb. 4, 2021.

Provincial court documents allege that Vance “willfully” attempted to obstruct justice by repeatedly contacting Maj. Kellie Brennan and attempting to persuade her to make false statements to investigators.

Brennan, a staff officer at army headquarters, told Global News last winter that she and the former chief of the defence staff had an on-again, off-again intimate relationship. She subsequently testified before a parliamentary committee and claimed Vance had fathered two of her eight children.

At the outset of the controversy, speaking to Global News, he denied any wrongdoing.

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