Tories alerted to Afghan secret police legal 'risk'
Document warned government about directorate's scope for 'improper methods'
The Conservative government was warned last summer that working with the Afghan secret police would lead to allegations Canada condoned abuse and that Canadians could face legal liability for complicity in torture.
In this July 2009 file photo, a man Afghan authorities suspect of insurgency-related activities is interrogated during a joint Canadian-Afghan army patrol in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)
The information, contained in a candid top-level government memo shared with CBC News, shows that officials were worried that Canada's relationship with the Afghan National Directorate of Security was risky — and possibly illegal — even while the government was defending it.
The document warns that the directorate, or NDS, is so secretive, even Canada and its allies are in the dark about much of what it does.
The NDS has wider powers of arrest and detention than most intelligence agencies, the memo says, and as a result, "there is considerable scope for the use of improper methods." Engaging with the NDS "entails a degree of risk to Canadian interests," it adds.