Military officer facing mutiny charge after anti-vaccine speech

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OTTAWA — The Department of National Defence says a military officer is facing charges after allegedly urging other members of the Canadian Armed Forces not to help with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Officer Cadet Ladislas Kenderesi has been charged with one count of persuading another person to join in a mutiny and one count of behaving in a scandalous manner unbecoming of an officer.

The charges follow a speech at an anti-lockdown rally in Toronto in December in which a man appeared in full military uniform and spoke out against what he called "killer" vaccines.

The man, who is introduced as Kenderesi and is wearing a name tag with that surname in a video of the speech posted on YouTube, calls on other military members to disobey their orders and not distribute the vaccine.

The Defence Department says Kenderesi was relieved of his duties as a reserve cadet instructor in Borden, Ont., in December and charged by military police on May 12.

Defence officials say Kenderesi is the first service member charged with a mutiny-related offence in at least 20 years.

Requests for comment sent to Kenderesi's military email address and a GoFundMe page set up to support his legal defence did not receive immediate responses Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press