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Anti-war soldier faces 10 years in jail

ROBERT BOOTH

glentoncrop-200x0.jpg

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton ... arrested last week. Photo: Getty Images


November 16, 2009

LONDON: A British soldier who faces up to 10 years in jail for speaking out against the war in Afghanistan will go before a military judge this week to discover if he will remain in an army jail while he awaits trial.

In an escalation of the Ministry of Defence's legal action against him, Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, 27, was arrested and charged last week with five counts of disobeying lawful commands and standing orders in relation to his public opposition to the war expressed at an anti-war rally last month.

He had already been charged with desertion for refusing to return to fight in Afghanistan.

His legal case worker, John Tipple, said the charges cited an interview in The Guardian in which he claimed troops on the ground had been confused about the purpose of their presence as far back as 2006, and that fellow soldiers had supported his cause after he called for a complete withdrawal of troops.

The new charges carry a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment in addition to the three to four years he could face if the desertion charge is upheld.

It has emerged that British public servants at the Defence Ministry are being paid more than 8000 ($14,300) a month to work in Afghanistan, nearly five times as much as some soldiers on the front line.

Ministers said the payouts were justified in part by the fact that some officials were posted to conflict zones.

The ministry said the maximum monthly additional payment for a senior grade official working in a conflict zone was 8250. For more junior officials, it was 6750. The allowances are paid on top of basic salaries.

Army privates are paid between 16,681 and 25,887 a year. Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan for a six-month tour receive a tax-free ''operational allowance'' of 2380 and a Longer Separation Allowance of at least 1194. That means the lowest-paid private in Afghanistan is paid 1687 a month.

Guardian News & Media; Telegraph, London







:: Article nr. 60117 sent on 16-nov-2009 14:42 ECT

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Link: www.smh.com.au/world/antiwar-soldier-faces-10-years-in-jail-20091116-iicq.html



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