THE Military branch of the Spanish Supreme Courts has absolved an Army captain who was accused of humiliating a pregnant soldier on sick leave due to stress and burnout syndrome.
The solider secretly recorded two conversations with her superior, during which the captain told her she was not a decent member of the army and wasn’t doing Spain any favours.
The conversations took place at a base in Tenerife in 2012 when the soldier went to present sick leave documents to the captain. She had been out of service due to a knee operation followed by a diagnosis of stress and burnout syndrome, which she put down to her fellow soldiers’ attitudes towards her.
During the conversations, the captain suggested that she should leave the army, stating that she was obviously not made for military life as other women had managed to integrate themselves better than she had. “Although it is true that if they mess up they’ll be in trouble,” he added.
“Think about whether you should come back, and if you do make sure you give 1,000 per cent. When you come back, come ready to die and if not go home and die too,” the captain continued.
The second recorded conversation, when the soldier announced her pregnancy, caught jewels including: “Kicking you out isn’t my responsibility, if it was you would already be out on your a***,” and “congratulations on your pregnancy, make sure you take good care of your child.”
At the Supreme Court, where the soldier took her case after a Military Court considered the conversations and treatment were not bad enough to be considered humiliating, three out of the five judges that heard the case reached the same conclusion, meaning although the other two judges wished to give a four-month jail sentence, the captain was absolved.
It remains to be seen whether the army will take internal disciplinary measures.