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The soldier guilty of anti-vaccine comments came close to mutiny, according to the prosecutor

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Reservist James Topp pleaded guilty at court martial.


Major Ben Richard, attorney general, told the Court Martial in New Westminster, British Columbia, that reservist warrant officer James Topp came close to mutiny when he wore a military uniform and posted two videos on social media to criticize the Canadian Armed Forces' vaccination policy.

According to Major Richard, James Topp's actions could have sparked protests similar to those that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Warrant Officer James Topp pleaded guilty to two counts of behavior prejudicial to good order and discipline, in connection with videos posted on social media that criticized vaccine requirements for military personnel.

The soldier, who faces a maximum sentence of “ignominious dismissal from Her Majesty's service”, told the military court he was pleading guilty of his own free will.

The reservist faced six charges under the National Defense Act for the videos posted in February last year.

The hearings revealed that around a hundred soldiers voluntarily left the Armed Forces because of its vaccine policy, while the records of hundreds of others have been the subject of ongoing reprimand .

The court martial also heard that Warrant Officer James Topp received military briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic and policy of the army vaccination, but that he had not disclosed his vaccination status.

She also became aware that one of the videos uploaded to social media by the soldier was filmed in a house in Abbotsford, while the second was was taken during a demonstration in support of the so-called freedom convoy at the Sumas border crossing near Abbotsford.

I need to hear if you formally admit the facts, asked Judge Catherine Julie Deschênes to James Topp. “Are these facts, as summarized here, accurate? »

James Topp said the addresses weren't entirely accurate, but he agreed with the events, after the court changed the addresses.

Warrant Officer James Topp, a former soldier with more than 30 years of service in Canada, including multiple deployments to Croatia, Afghanistan and other war zones, should be severely punished for using his military rank and uniform to publicly challenge the Armed Forces' COVID-19 vaccination mandates, the attorney general told the court martial.

James Topp faces a maximum penalty of dismissal with disgrace, but his lawyer, Phillip Millar, believes his client should benefit from an unconditional discharge from the military or the smallest fine possible.

James Topp's testimony was heard Tuesday. One of his commanders also testified.

James Topp is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.

With information from The Canadian Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116