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THE AMERICAS

Stepfather says withholding of Canada soldier's suicide note sign of calculated deception

The suicide note of a Canadian soldier was withheld from his parents for 14 months by military police in what Cpl. Stuart Langridge's stepfather calls a calculated deception.

 Shaun Fynes, in his second day of testimony before a public inquiry, says he believes his son's last communication was kept quiet to protect the Canadian military from embarrassment.

The Canadian Forces National Investigative Service says it held on to the note, in which Langridge said he couldn't take the pain anymore, because it was evidence in an ongoing investigation.

It acknowledges 14 months does not represent "expeditious" handling of the note, but has never explained why it needed to keep it beyond the first few days of the investigation.

 Fynes says when the family did finally receive the note, it was a photocopy, not the original.

The Military Police Complaints Commission is examining whether a biased investigation was conducted into Langridge's March 2008 death.