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Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin arrives to be processed at the Gatineau Police Station in Gatineau, Que., on Aug. 18, 2021.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The senior military officer once tasked with overseeing Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive is opting to have his sexual assault case tried by a Quebec judge without a jury present.

A lawyer for Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin announced the decision during a brief hearing in a Gatineau courtroom this morning.

Fortin was removed from his position on the vaccine campaign in May and was charged with one count of sexual assault in August.

He is fighting for reinstatement to his former role with the Public Health Agency of Canada alleging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other senior members of the Liberal government turfed him for purely political reasons.

A Federal Court judge tossed out his request for reinstatement in October but Fortin is appealing.

His criminal case is expected back in court Friday.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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