Senior Canadian officer sentenced life term for raping, murdering

19:42, October 22, 2010      

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A senior Canadian officer was sentenced Thursday to two terms of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for charges of raping and murdering two young women.

Colonel Russell Williams, 47-year-old former commander of Canadian largest Air Forces Base in Trenton near Toronto, was also convicted of two additional charges of sexual assault and forcible confinement as well as more than 80 charges of breaking and entering.

Williams, who was promoted for his 23 years of service, including participation of the Afghanistan War and Haiti earthquake rescue operations as well as piloting special planes for state leaders of Canada and foreign countries, pleaded guilty Monday to all the charges in a Belleville court of Ontario.

He also apologized to the family members of the victims.

Commenting on the case, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the Canadian Forces have been betrayed and wounded by Williams' horrific crimes which in no way reflect on the Forces.

He reiterated that the military intends to take the necessary actions to ensure that all sanctions that are possible are applied.

The Canadian military said it is working toward immediately expelling Williams from the Canadian Forces, recovering his pay since his arrest in February 2010 and removing his medals.

Chief of Air Staff Lt.-Gen. Andre Deschamps said he still can't reconcile the two sides of Williams - "the professional that we knew and the criminal who's in prison now."

He said the military will check on improving the process for the selection and promotion of individuals.

Source: Xinhua


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