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    German Bundeswehr armed forces soldiers of the 371st armoured infantry battalion march during a media day of the NATO drill 'NOBLE JUMP 2015' at the barracks in Marienberg April 10, 2015

    German Soldiers Challenge Firing for ‘Sadistic Sexual’ Practices

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    Four German soldiers dismissed from the Bundeswehr for hazing and sexual abuse are challenging the judgement of the country’s top military official in court.

    Among the allegations that resulted in the soldiers' dismissals were stories of forcing female recruits to pole dance, which prompted Berlin's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to describe their actions as "repulsive and disgusting," and quickly transfer the base commander and fire five soldiers, according to Deutsche Welle.

    But all may not be as it seems, as new information has come to light indicating that a reinstatement may be justified.

    As the four sue to be returned to their former positions in the Bundeswehr, new information from investigators has shown that military prosecutors have caused some of the accusations to be invalidated, while, with others, a lack of evidence is pointing the cases toward dismissal.

    The suits bring added pressure on von der Leyen, as many in government and in the military accuse her of mismanagement and politicization, according to Dw.com.

    Von der Leyen has taken heat for a drop in the morale of the Bundeswehr, as well as for her handling of cases involving right-wing extremism and terrorism within the force.

    Retired Major General Christian Trull on Wednesday accused the defense minister of "exaggeration and alarmism" in the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper, cited by Dw.com.

    If the expected Thursday verdict reinstates the four, the criticism against von der Leyen will appear justified, possibly resulting in calls for her resignation or dismissal.


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    hazing, sexual abuse, criminal charges, dismissal, court hearing, German Bundeswehr, German Defense Ministry, Ursula von der Leyen, Germany, Berlin
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