Marines escape with a suspended sentence
1 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — The military chamber of Arnhem Court on Monday imposed a two-week suspended sentence on two Dutch marines who fell asleep at their guard posts while serving on peacekeeping duties in Iraq last year.
But the court also ordered the 19-year-old J. B. and the 20-year-old M. F. to complete a 60-hour community work order, news agency ANP reported.
The public prosecution had demanded a five-month military detention sentence, but the court ruled against the prosecution’s claim that the defendants fell asleep during a wartime situation.
The marines fell asleep while on guard duty at about 5.45am on 15 August last year and were therefore not able to maintain surveillance and the prosecution said that other soldiers had been placed at risk. It said a threatening situation could have led to disastrous consequences.
The defence lawyer said the marines were relieved at the court’s ruling. The lawyer also said a two-week suspended sentence is a lot different to a five-month sentence.
He said the marines will probably not appeal against the ruling because they will be demobilised in January 2005 and the appeal will take 12 months before being heard.
Moreover, the court had ruled there was no indication of a wartime situation, the lawyer said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news