The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service has handed the findings of its probe into a sexual misconduct allegation against Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to the Quebec authority responsible for laying charges.
The Department of National Defence announced the move on Wednesday afternoon but did not say whether that comes as a result of any recommendation or determination from the investigation.
“The CFNIS has conducted an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct involving Major-General Dany Fortin,” the department said in a statement.
“It has referred the matter to the Director of criminal and penal prosecutions (Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales or DPCP), who is the charge laying authority for criminal and penal prosecutions in the province of Quebec.”
The statement from the Department of National Defence also formally confirmed the nature of the allegation against Fortin, which Global News had previously reported was sexual misconduct.
Audrey Roy-Cloutier, spokesperson for the DPCP, said on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that the service had received the the file “during the last week.”
“Consequently, as with any other file brought to our attention by the police, we will conduct a rigorous analysis of the evidence to determine whether charges will be laid,” she said.
“At this point, we cannot comment further on this matter.”
Fortin stepped aside as head of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout last week when news of the investigation was made public.
His lawyer says Fortin “vigorously” denies the allegation and had no idea what the allegation was against him until a journalist asked him about it on Sunday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that he was made aware of an investigation into Fortin several weeks ago, but did not know the details of the allegation.
Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie has been named as Fortin’s replacement.
When asked about why his office was informed several weeks ago but Fortin remained in the role until Friday night, Trudeau said the handling of the investigation is up to the military.
“They made decisions along the way,” Trudeau said.