Lengthy Germany army abuse case ends with fines on instructors

13th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Six former instructors get fined for causing bodily harm.

Muenster, Germany -- A long-running trial of German army instructors charged with abusing recruits during a training session on hostage-taking concluded Wednesday with fines and suspended sentences imposed on six former instructors.

The court in the western city of Muenster freed a further four instructors who were based at the Coesfeld barracks in the region.

The 10 had been charged with causing bodily harm and abusing two recruits during an exercise during basic training at the barracks in 2004.

Two instructors were convicted of similar offences in August last year. One received a suspended sentence and the other a fine, while two were acquitted.

There was an outcry 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 pried 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 originally indicted the commander of the army training company and 17 instructors after an inquiry.

The army sacked several of the personnel involved.

DPA with Expatica

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