Despite 2013 discharge, ex-soldier faces charges for taunting junior officer

Even though he's been a civilian for more than two years, former warrant officer Wade Pear faces a court martial for allegedly mouthing a schoolyard taunt to a junior officer at an official dinner.

OTTAWA — Even though he’s been a civilian for more than two years, former warrant officer Wade Pear faces a court martial for allegedly mouthing a schoolyard taunt to a junior officer at an official dinner.

The veteran of multiple ground tours in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Cyprus faces counts of insubordination and drunkenness — charges that could lead to two years in military prison or hundreds of dollars in fines.

Witnesses are apparently being flown in from different parts of the country to testify at the Ottawa hearing, which stems from an incident in November 2012.

The fact the military justice system is going after Pear, despite his honourable discharge in September 2013, relates to a Supreme Court decision that gives uniformed prosecutors unlimited discretion on when to proceed with a case.

Pear, who lives in Ottawa, denies the charge of drunkenness, saying he had a couple of drinks at the mess dinner, but they mixed badly with medication for post-traumatic stress disorder and the moment he felt ill, he went home.

He says a conversation with a naval lieutenant was misconstrued into an accusation that he had taunted the officer for not ordering another drink.

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