False statements made over Iraqi shooting

Two Dutch marines say they made false statements about the actions of a Dutch sergeant major who was accused of shooting dead an Iraqi civilian in 2003 while they taking part in the Dutch peace-keeping mission in Iraq.

The marines said on the Nova tv show last night that they were put under pressure by senior officers not to say anything that would incriminate sergeant major Eric O. who was found not guilty of contravening military instructions on the use of violence in Iraq in 2005. He was later paid €10,000 in damages.
According to their lawyer, the marines were threatened, coerced and evidence was withheld during the trial.
Today’s Volkskrant says the public prosecution office has confirmed that it has received a formal complaint in which a man claims he withheld evidence as a result of intimidation. The department is investigating the charge. The paper says there is a chance that Eric O. may have to re-appear before a court.
In a reaction in the Telegraaf, Eric O. says the accusations that colleagues were forced by their superiors to remain quiet about the shooting incident ‘staggering and categorically untrue’. He also rejects the claim that he threatened a colleague.

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