Army trainers convicted of abusing recruits
German Army trainers convicted of abusing recruits in training
26 August 2007
Muenster (dpa) - Two German Army trainers were convicted Monday of abusing young men during a course which was meant to show what it was like to be taken hostage.
A court in the northern city of Muenster handed one trainer a suspended, 18-month jail term and the other a 2,400-euro (3,250-dollar) fine. Two others were acquitted. The trial of 11 others continues.
There was an outcry in Germany in 2004 after reports that 163 enlisted men had been bound hand and foot and mistreated at Coesfeld army camp during a course on what to do if they were ever taken prisoner by terrorists.
During the role-play, they were "captured" and put in a mock-up jail. In one case, an army coach playing the part of a terrorist hosed cold water inside a trainee's trousers and prised another man's mouth open to squirt water inside.
The soldiers themselves did not complain, with several telling reporters they had thought it was a normal course.
In the biggest prosecution of army personnel since the modern German armed forces were established in 1955, civilian prosecutors indicted the commander of the army training company and 17 trainers after an inquiry.
The army sacked several of the personnel involved.
Subject: German news