Germany sacks trainer over comments

17th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Prosecutors began an inquiry and the German Army Tuesday sacked a lance-corporal who was filmed by a camera-phone last year as he told a recruit with a machine-gun to imagine he was shooting black people dead in New York City. The revelation last week of the incident caused outrage in the United States. Germany has acted this week to show its biggest ally that it has zero tolerance for racism. The brief film spread through video-swapping sites on the internet. In Berlin, the D

17 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Prosecutors began an inquiry and the German Army Tuesday sacked a lance-corporal who was filmed by a camera-phone last year as he told a recruit with a machine-gun to imagine he was shooting black people dead in New York City.

The revelation last week of the incident caused outrage in the United States. Germany has acted this week to show its biggest ally that it has zero tolerance for racism. The brief film spread through video-swapping sites on the internet.

In Berlin, the Defence Ministry said the instant dismissal of the man meant his pay stopped at midnight Tuesday. The enlisted man, who is in his early 20s, would also lose his rank, the lowest level of non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the German Army.

The prosecution department in the northern city of Kiel said a preliminary inquiry had begun to establish if the man could be charged with a crime. This is a step before a full-scale inquiry.

"We are studying whether this fits in with the definition of sedition," spokesman Uwe Wick said. Sedition under German law includes inciting ill-will against ethnic groups.

The ministry said a disciplinary inquiry was continuing into charging a second NCO who filmed the scene in woods on a base near the German city of Rendsburg, but gave no other details.

The video shows the machine-gun instructor telling the recruit to open fire and to shout an English-language obscenity that has become popular among young Germans during a craze for US rap videos.

"You are in the Bronx and a black van stops. Three Afro-Americans get out and vilely insult your mother. Fire a barrage at them and shout motherfucker," says the trainer in the video.

The video caused outrage in the United States, with black activist Al Sharpton demanding US President George Bush intervene. Adolfo Carrion, borough president of the Bronx, demanded the German Army apologize.

Defence Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe said Monday in Berlin the July 2006 incident was "absolutely unacceptable" and contradicted the armed forces' educational standards and ethics.

In New York, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also condemned the video on Monday.

Raabe said military authorities had known of the video since January. Reports about it surfaced in the media Friday.

Under German military law, an enlisted soldier can be dismissed instantly during his first four years in service if he breaches military discipline and his continuation in the service would undermine the good standing of the armed forces.

DPA

Subject: German news

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