British army instructors face court martial over alleged recruit abuse

Aug. 14 (UPI) — Seventeen former British military instructors were charged after a three-year investigation of assaults on recruits, officials said.

The instructors from the Army Foundation College face 40 charges of battery, ill-treatment of subordinates and bodily harm. They are accused of punching and beating six recruits, who were 17 years old at the time, and pushing their heads underwater and smearing animal excrement on them.

The army did not name the instructors, who will be charged in court martial proceedings in September.

All the charged instructors, who are Afghanistan and Iraq combat veterans, deny wrongdoing.

The alleged incidents occurred when the instructors accompanied about 200 recruits on battle maneuvers at a military camp in Kirkcudbright, Scotland.

The Army Foundation College was the subject of a 2016 British television documentary, which was produced after defense chiefs agreed it could help the 4,000-person shortfall in recruits.

“We can confirm that 17 former recruit instructors are to face court martial proceedings at Bulford Court Martial Center on September 21 and 22. These cases are subject to judicial consideration therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further,” a defense ministry spokesman said.

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