Military panel has question amid deliberations in Manitoba court martial

The Canadian Press

SHILO, Man. - The military panel deciding the fate of a former Manitoba soldier interrupted its deliberations briefly to ask a question of the judge.

Lori Truscott, the public affairs officer at Canadian Forces Base Shilo, says the panel asked whether there is a legal definition of standard of care and was told there is not.

The panel resumed its second day of deliberations a few minutes later.

The panel — akin to a jury in a civilian trial — is considering six charges including manslaughter laid against retired warrant officer Paul Ravensdale.

Ravensdale was testing anti-personnel mines on an Afghanistan weapons range in 2010 when one mine misfired, sending steel ball bearings in the wrong direction.

The ball bearings killed Cpl. Joshua Baker and injured four other soldiers.

The prosecution alleges Ravensdale ignored safety rules and allowed soldiers to stand too close, while the defence says Ravensdale was simply following plans approved by his superiors.

Two of Ravensdale's superiors have already been convicted in the case.

Maj. Christopher Lunney was demoted to captain and given a severe reprimand after pleading guilty to negligent performance of duty.

Maj. Darryl Watts is awaiting sentencing on negligence and unlawfully causing bodily harm.