Top officer at Schiphol border control accused of assaulting cadet

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Arrest (Photo: Politie). Arrest (Photo: Politie)

A Lieutenant Colonel in charge of border control at Schiphol airport, was arrested late last week for assaulting a soldier in training. The Lieutenant Colonel's wife accused the cadet of assaulting her during officers training, but that assault was covered up, the Lieutenant Colonel's lawyer Michael Ruperti told newspaper AD.

The Koninklijke Marechaussee - a policing force that works as part of the military and is responsible for border control - confirmed to the newspaper that an employee was arrested for assault, but will not make any further comment as long as the investigation is ongoing. 

According to Ruperti, the incident that got his client arrested happened on Friday night outside a cafe, where the Lieutenant Colonel was with his wife. They came across the cadet that allegedly assaulted his wife, and the situation got out of hand after they discussed that assault case. The commander pushed the cadet, and that was spotted by police officers who happened to be in the area, according to the lawyer. The commander was arrested. He has since been released, but is on suspension pending the outcome fo the investigation.

The commander knew the young soldier in training through his wife, who attended the Royal Military Academy with him. According to Ruperti, in April the woman reported that the cadet assaulted her after a party at the officers training. After that, the main focus was on making sure that this story did not come out, according to the lawyer. 

"There was an internal investigation, but the outcome was that it would be best for the woman to let the case rest. It was her story against his and that would only cause a hassle", Ruperti said to AD. The woman agreed to let it be, because she didn't want trouble during her training. When the cadet later admitted to the Lieutenant Colonel that he assaulted his wife, that was also covered up, the lawyer said.

This is not the first time the Royal Military Academy is accused of covering up accusations of an assault. Seven years ago unions raised the alarm about nothing being done about students and staff who are guilty of violence, assault, sexual harassment and racism, according to AD. Defense denied these allegations.

According to Ruperti, this case now shows that apparently nothing has changed in the past seven years. But it also shows that the military has double standards, he said. The Lieutenant Colonel has 16 years of faithful service behind him, including serving in Afghanistan. Yet he is sitting at home as long as the investigation against him is ongoing. While the soldier in training accused of assaulting his wife can work as usual. The only apparent difference between these two cases is that the police happened to see the Lieutenant Colonel pushing the cadet, while the assault accusations against the cadet were handled internally. 

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