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Military trial set to begin for former HR head accused of sexual misconduct

A court martial begins on Monday for Lt.-Gen. Steve Whelan, who was removed from his job as head of military personnel after being accused of sexual misconduct.

The allegations came to light in 2021, only months after Whelan took over the job from Vice-Adm. Haydn Edmundson, who was also accused of sexual misconduct.

They were among several high-profile cases that led to an external investigation of the Armed Forces, resulting in a damning report from former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour.

Military police charged Whelan in July 2022 with two counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline, related to what they called an “inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.”

In a press release at the time, the Defence Department said the investigation did not find evidence to support Criminal Code charges in the case, so it was not passed along to civilian police.

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The court martial is scheduled to take place over two weeks.