One in two German female soldiers report sexual abuse

Updated 24 January 2014
0

One in two German female soldiers report sexual abuse

BERLIN: One in two female soldiers in the German military says she has encountered some kind of sexual abuse at least once while in the armed forces, an internal study published Friday found.
The report, released by the Bundeswehr’s Center of Military History and Social Studies in the eastern city of Potsdam, prompted new Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to call for new measures to address problems faced by women in uniform.
Fifty-five percent of women in the Bundeswehr reported some kind of sexual mistreatment on the job, with 47 percent citing verbal abuse, 25 percent saying they had been confronted with pornographic images and 24 percent telling researchers they had experienced “unwanted sexually motivated physical contact.”
Three percent said they had suffered sexual assault.
Von der Leyen, Germany’s first female defense chief, said the poll conducted in 2011 among 3,058 women showed the military must change the way it deals with its female soldiers, who make up 10.1 percent of the armed forces.
“We have to make the Bundeswehr significantly more attractive for women,” she told reporters, adding that it must be made “more visible” how much the Bundeswehr benefits from the growing number of women in its ranks.
However a parallel poll of 1,771 male soldiers showed growing resentment of gender diversity.
More than 56 percent said women made the military worse, up from around 52 percent in 2005.
Twelve percent of the male soldiers reported experiencing sexual harassment.
Earlier this month, von der Leyen said she would make creating a more family-friendly army a priority during her term by allowing soldiers to work part-time and extending childcare.
US President Barack Obama in December gave the Pentagon a year to confront a scourge of sexual assaults that have sparked calls for commanders to lose the power to adjudicate such crimes.
The US military in August launched a raft of measures to combat sexual assaults, but their action did not appease some lawmakers who want much stronger steps to deal with hundreds of alleged offenses from harassment to rape.
Sexual abuse cases in the military are on the rise, according to a Pentagon report, rising to 3,374 in 2012, a six percent increase from the previous year.


Malaysia detains Najib ex-aide in first arrest over 1MDB scandal

Updated 26 min 43 sec ago
0

Malaysia detains Najib ex-aide in first arrest over 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities have made the first arrest in a renewed probe into the multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, remanding a former aide of ousted prime minister Najib Razak to assist in investigations, Bernama news reported on Monday.
Malaysia’s new government led by the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations into billions of dollars allegedly siphoned out of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after Najib’s administration lost a general election in May, fueled by anger over the scandal and rising living costs.
On Monday, a magistrate’s court granted an application by anti-graft officials to remand Najib’s former aide for a week to assist in their investigations into 1MDB, according to a report by national newswire Bernama.
The 42-year-old aide, described in the report as having worked for Najib since 2009, was arrested on Sunday night after giving a statement at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) headquarters in the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
Earlier this month, Malaysia’s new attorney general said his office was studying possible criminal and civil action in the 1MDB case, after receiving investigation papers on the state fund from the anti-graft agency.
Former prime minister Najib, who founded 1MDB, is the subject of a money laundering probe. Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Najib, in some of his most extensive comments yet on the 1MDB scandal, told Reuters last week that he did not know if hundreds of millions of dollars that moved through his personal account was from 1MDB, and if money from the fund was eventually laundered to acquire assets globally, including yachts, paintings, gems and prime real estate.
Transactions involving 1MDB are being investigated in half a dozen countries, including the United States, where it has become the biggest case pursued by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy program.
The US Department of Justice has alleged in lawsuits that more than $4.5 billion from 1MDB was laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies, of which $681 million ended in Najib’s bank account. Najib says the money in his account was donations from Saudi Arabia, most of which he returned.
According to the US justice department, assets purchased using 1MDB money include a Picasso painting, luxury real estate in South California and New York, shares in a Hollywood production company and a $265 million yacht, and more than $200 million worth of jewelry — including a 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace.