Prosecutors drop charges over skull photos

7th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 December 2006, Munich (dpa) - Prosecutors said Thursday they have dropped criminal charges against two German soldiers who were photographed posing with human skulls while on duty in Afghanistan. A statement said there was not enough evidence to link the men to "disturbing the peace of the dead" because the skulls were found in a clay pit used by Afghans and did not come from a burial site. The soldiers could only be indicted if the reported offence had actually take place at a burial site, the statement

7 December 2006

Munich (dpa) - Prosecutors said Thursday they have dropped criminal charges against two German soldiers who were photographed posing with human skulls while on duty in Afghanistan.

A statement said there was not enough evidence to link the men to "disturbing the peace of the dead" because the skulls were found in a clay pit used by Afghans and did not come from a burial site.

The soldiers could only be indicted if the reported offence had actually take place at a burial site, the statement said.

At one time 20 soldiers were under investigation in connection with the photos, which were taken between 2003 and 2004 while the men were serving with the International Security Assistance Force.

The German Defence Ministry said Thursday that 13 soldiers were still the subject of a disciplinary inquiry.

The photographs were published late October in the biggest selling German daily Bild and broadcast by the commercial RTL TV. One of them showed a soldier exposing his genitals while holding a skull.

There was outrage in Germany over the photographs. Afghan officials condemned the acts as an affront, but there was no public outcry in Afghanistan over the case.

The two soldiers investigated by Munich prosecutors came from a mountain infantry unit based in southern Germany. Soldiers based in other parts of Germany could still face criminal charges.

DPA

Subject: German news

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