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Former Canadian general released from Afghan prison

Daniel Menard was detained by Kabul police on January 10 over gun smuggling charges.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A former general who once commanded Canadian troops in Afghanistan has been released after being detained by local police for more than a month in Kabul.

Daniel Ménard had returned to Afghanistan to oversee the operations of the Garda World security firm.

He was taken into custody Jan. 10 over what his employer described as an administrative dispute.

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Garda spokesman Joe Gavaghan, who confirmed on Wednesday that Mr. Ménard had been freed, declined to comment further.

Mr. Gavaghan had previously told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Ménard's detention was related to questions about the company's licence in Afghanistan, where Garda has operated for nearly a decade.

The Afghan Ministry of Interior had accused the former brigadier-general of being in possession of 129 rifles and 148 radios, which it said he was not licensed to hold.

Mr. Ménard had been in Kabul as Garda's Managing Director for Afghanistan since 2012 after leaving the country in disgrace in 2010.

As a brigadier-general, Mr. Ménard once led nearly 3,000 troops based in Kandahar during Canada's participation in NATO-led military combat.

However, in the spring of 2010 Mr. Ménard was removed from his command and ordered home.

He was fined $7,000 and demoted colonel by a court martial after he pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a non-commissioned officer while the two were stationed at the Kandahar Air Field base, and then of trying to cover up the affair.

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He was also fined $3,500 in a separate court-martial proceeding for reckless discharge of a weapon after he accidentally fired his assault rifle while he was boarding a helicopter with the Chief of the Defence Staff of the time, General Walter Natynczyk.

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