Navy decides to suspend soldiers from Mondego for 10 to 90 days

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The Navy decided today to suspend between 10 and 90 days the 13 soldiers of the Portuguese Republic Ship (NRP) Mondego, which in March last year failed a mission to accompany a Russian ship in Portuguese waters.

“It has been decided to impose service suspension sentences on all military personnel, ranging from 10 to 90 days, depending on the responsibility arising from the category, rank and seniority of each military person, among other circumstances,” reads a statement issued by the branch headed by Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo.

On March 11, 2023, the NRP Mondego failed a mission to accompany a Russian ship north of the island of Porto Santo, in the Madeira archipelago, after four sergeants and nine privates refused to board, citing security reasons.

The Navy reported the incident to the Military Judicial Police (PJM) in Lisbon, as part of a criminal investigation, and opened disciplinary proceedings, which were concluded today and whose decision has already been communicated to the soldiers.

“During the preparation of the disciplinary process, the administrative courts ruled out the suspicion of impartiality raised by the military regarding the Commander of the Madeira Maritime Zone, as the instructing officer of the process, and the Naval Commander, as the entity with disciplinary competence,” reads the text released by the Navy.

In June, the defense of the 13 sailors requested the removal of the instructor from the disciplinary process opened by the Navy, claiming that he was involved in the facts, which would compromise his impartiality.

The soldiers were accused by the Navy of “disobeying an order” and of having “leaked certain information to a military association”.

In an inspection report drawn up by the Maritime Court a few days after the military’s refusal, it was concluded that the ‘Mondego’ could sail safely, although there were “cracks in the structure” of the ship, “lack of watertightness”, “difficulties in draining the engine room” and “inability to separate water and oil”.

In an interview with Lusa in December last year, the Chief of Staff of the Navy (CEMA) argued that the refusal of 13 soldiers to carry out a mission on board the Mondego in March was an exception and assured that the incident “has already been completely overcome” in the Navy.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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