Judges back soldier who disobeyed over Iraq

22nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2005, LEIPZIG - A German army officer who disobeyed orders in 2003 out of opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq won full backing and reinstatement from a federal tribunal on Wednesday.

22 June 2005

LEIPZIG - A German army officer who disobeyed orders in 2003 out of opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq won full backing and reinstatement from a federal tribunal on Wednesday.

The major, who worked in programming at defence headquarters in Bonn, had been demoted to captain after he refused to write military logistics software, saying he feared it would be used to assist the U.S. military buildup.

Judges of the Federal Administrative Tribunal in Leipzig said that under the constitution, the man's freedom of conscience took precedent over orders. The Army should have accepted this and moved the major to other duties.

According to the court, the soldier maintained that the U.S. invasion was a breach of international law and that all German assistance for it was illegal, including allowing overflights and putting German personnel in Kuwait or on AWACS monitoring planes.

His superior could not rule out that U.S. logistics operations would benefit from the computer software, so he viewed the work on a new version in April 2003 as indirect participation in the Iraq War.

DPA

Subject: German news

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