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Dutch News
Soldier investigated for sex offence 3/1/2007
AMSTERDAM – A 20-year-old military officer of the General Major de Ruyter van Steveninck barracks in Oirschot was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of having committed a sex offence against a female colleague.

The defence ministry announced this on Tuesday. The Royal Marechaussee is investigating the report. The suspect has been taken into custody in consultation with the public prosecution department in Arnhem, where the military section of the court resides. He is being held by the Marechaussee and may be brought before the public prosecutor before the end of the week.

Spokespersons for the military and Marechaussee did not want to comment on the matter pending the outcome of the investigation.

The allegations do not bode well for the defence department. In October a report from the Staal committee showed that incidents of misconduct are more frequent in the armed forces than in civilian organisations. These incidents vary from crude language, to bullying, to sex under coercion.

The ministry is currently working to adopt the recommendations from the Staal committee. It has drawn up a code of conduct and leadership has been ordered to be more alert to these kinds of issues. Stricter monitoring of alcohol and drug use has also been introduced. All the measures aimed at combating misconduct will cost about EUR 80 million a year.

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