The RCMP is considering handing over its massive investigation into residential-school abuse to another police force because of fears of political interference from the federal Justice Department, reports the Vancouver Sun.

The Mounties have made a motion in British Columbia Supreme Court to have the Justice Department return more than 100 confidential police files it copied in September, 1998, and refused to return.

In an affidavit filed in that case, RCMP Chief Superintendent Gary Bass warned that if the Justice Department was given access to police files “it would cause the aboriginal community to completely lose faith in RCMP assurances of confidentiality.”

That loss of trust and independence “would cause the RCMP to consider advising the provincial Attorney-General to hand over all such investigations to a non-federal police force,” he states.