Gen. Jonathan Vance pleads guilty to obstruction of justice

Canada’s former chief of defence staff, retired Gen. Jonathan Vance, has pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice, according to his lawyer.

The plea was made Wednesday morning, while appearing virtually before an Ottawa courtroom.

Vance’s lawyer Rodney Sellar said in court that Vance has made a complete admission of fault and takes complete responsibility.

Military police launched an investigation into Vance in February 2021, following media reports detailing two accounts of inappropriate behavior with female subordinates. The allegations emerged weeks after his retirement, after five years in the top defense post.

In July, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence issued a statement stating that Vance had been charged with one count of obstruction of justice for attempting to persuade a woman to make false statements about their past relationship to military investigators.

In court, Justice Robert Wadden acknowledged that Vance has admitted his guilt and is saving the court considerable time had the matter gone to trial, as it was scheduled to in May 2023.

Vance has been sentenced to a conditional discharge, meaning he will not have a criminal record, but will placed on probation for 12 months.

The former top military commander will also be required to complete 80 hours of community service.

With files from CTV News’ Annie Bergeron-Oliver and Sarah Turnbull

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