Marines say they lied about shooting (update)

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 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.
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.
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 were ‘staggering and categorically untrue’. He also rejects the claim that he threatened a colleague.
Eric O’s lawyer told ANP there was nothing new in the allegations. The timing was pertinent, he said, seeing as the courts had just ruled that negotiations should begin on a damages payout for O.

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