Soldiers accused of misconduct file complaint against Defense State Sec.

Three soldiers accused of various forms of misconduct at the Airmobile Brigade barracks in Scaarsbergen, filed a complaint against State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense. They believe the State Secretary already publicly condemned them, despite the investigation still being ongoing, AD reports.

Late last year a number of soldiers and former soldiers told the Volkskrant about misconduct at the Schaarsbergen barracks. In 2014 three soldiers left their unit because they were assaulted, bullied, extorted, abused and one was even raped, they said to the newspaper. A total of eight soldiers are suspected of these abuses. The three that filed a complaint against Visser claim that they are innocent.

According to the soldiers, Visser's responses in the media and in a recent parliamentary debate show that she has already drawn her own conclusions. For example, she said that the case "made a deep impression on her" and that "shivers went down her back" when she first read the Volkskrant article about it. She also spoke of victims, through which the soldiers believe they are wrongly put away as perpetrators. The soldiers finally also point out that Visser contacted the victims, but did not ask the soldiers for their side of the story. 

Defense refused to comment substantively on the complaint, but did say that "it is currently being examined whether this complaint is admissible and if so by whom it will be investigated", according to the newspaper.