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Supreme court vindicates army officer who faced disciplinary action for “disrespecting” superior

February 18, 2019 at 5:10pm

The Supreme Court reversed a military disciplinary action against a major for “disrespecting” a superior, because it “violated the right to freedom of expression,” philenews reported.

The incident took place in 2015, when the major was notified that he was due to be transferred to another camp.

Soon after, he submitted a service complaint, claiming that the transfer “is damaging to his career, vindictive and unfair.”

After an administrative inquiry, the commander of the camp, a brigadier ordered a four day camp confinement against the major.

In the sentencing document, the brigadier wrote”you did not express yourself with due respect for the above-mentioned superior (the brigadier) while complaining that your transfer was vindictive, a characterisation which attributes to your superior and the Minister of Defence ulterior motives.”

The major then filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, which reversed the disciplinary action arguing that it violated the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

It argued that the word “vindictive” is not disrespectful and took into consideration the fact that it was expressed in a service complaint, not publicly.

Concluding, it awarded 1,600 euro plus VAT in damages against the Republic.