A soldier who called on his fellow military personnel to refuse helping with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has been charged with an offence related to mutiny.
It’s believed to be the first time in decades that the Canadian military has laid such a charge.
The charges were laid May 12 by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, defence officials told this newspaper.
Kenderesi had appeared at an anti-lockdown rally in December in Toronto dressed in his Canadian Forces uniform and speaking out about the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming it was a “killer.”
He called on military personnel not to be involved in government plans to distribute the vaccine. “I’m asking military, right now serving, truck drivers, medical, engineers, whatever you are, do not take this unlawful order (for) the distribution of this vaccine,” Kenderesi said at the rally. A video of his speech was posted on YouTube.
“I might get in a lot of s— for doing this, but I don’t care anymore,” he said.
The crowd cheered his speech.
Department of National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said the charges will proceed through the military justice system. “OCdt Kenderesi was removed from performance of military duties following the December, 2020, incident,” Le Bouthillier said.
Kenderesi is a member of the Reserve Cadet Instructor Cadre in Borden, ON, according to the Canadian Forces.
Kenderesi’s supporters filmed military officials reading the charges against him and posted that to a GoFundMe page for the officer cadet. The page noted Kenderesi “was charged on May 12, 2021, for speaking out against the experimental gene therapy on Dec. 5 at the human rights assembly at Dundas Square in Toronto.”
Kenderesi is also featured in the GoFundMe page video before meeting with Canadian Forces officials. “I’m just saying a small prayer for myself, and a prayer for Canada and Canadians, that hopefully my efforts and what I have done is not in vain,” he stated in that video.
The GoFundMe initiative is to collect money for Kenderesi’s legal battle.
Le Bouthillier said if he desires, Kenderesi has access at no cost to a lawyer provided by the Department of National Defence. “While the charges have been laid, it is currently in the referral process and no court martial has been scheduled,” he added.
His book, Military Justice in Action, noted three incidents involving widespread protests against military leadership in the late 1940s. In those cases, Canadian sailors rebelled against incompetent leadership and poor conditions on ships, but the navy avoided using the official term of mutiny. But military personnel were charged and received jail sentences.
“An initial search through files in the past 20 years has not found any charges related to endeavoring to persuade another person to join in a mutiny,” Le Bouthillier added.
He was introduced as “the original Canadian patriot” and an officer cadet with 25 years of experience.
The Cadet Instructors Cadre is part of the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service, a sub-component of the Reserve Force. The primary responsibility of CIC officers is the supervision, administration and training of cadets ranging in age from 12 to 18.
Organizers of the rally said Kenderesi was on medical leave from the Canadian Forces at the time he spoke.
Kenderesi remains in the military “pending the outcome of the charges,” the Canadian Forces noted.
Shortly after the rally in December, Canadian Forces officials retrieved Kenderesi’s uniform and military issued equipment.