The Cordoba Provincial Prosecutor's Office considers that the military justice system is responsible for investigating the deaths of a soldier and a non-commissioned officer during military maneuvers that took place on December 21 at the Cerro Muriano base, which the army operates in Cordoba. The Ministry of State thus supports the decision of the Investigative Court No. 4 of the capital Córdoba, which ruled in favor of the Military Court No. 21 of Seville, a decision against which the defense of the military has appealed to the Provincial Court.
The allegations assume that the drowning deaths that occurred on the morning of December 21, during military maneuvers that involved crossing an artificial lake, are of the criminal nature of murder with possible intent, a crime that does not fall under the military criminal code, which only describes reckless killing. The Military Penal Code's penalties for the type of crimes that amount to intentional homicide are up to five years and three months, much lower than the 10 to 15 years that the ordinary courts provide for intentional homicide, a rating that supports this classification provides for the families.
The prosecution maintains the position it initially took when the investigation of the case by the Instructional Court No. 4 began. The head of the military court that had taken over the case brought charges against the company's chief captain, who was separated from command the day after the event to the detachment's first lieutenant and a sergeant. Everyone was present during the water maneuvers. According to the judge, the three commanders may have committed a crime that affected the effectiveness of the service and resulted in death, which corresponds to intentional killing within the meaning of the Simple Penal Code, listed in Article 77.1. The military penal code provides for a prison sentence of up to five years and three months.
In its decision, the military court claims that the safety measures taken did not work: the rope stretched from one bank to the other of the pond did not meet the requirements of serving as a “lifeline” to which the soldiers could hold on in case of danger The backpacks were not waterproof and were “overweight” so they did not float. According to the judge, there could be a “causal connection between the possible lack of suitability of the security measures used” and the death of the two soldiers. Now it will be the Provincial Court of Seville that will have to decide who will proceed with the case.
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