Monday, August 24, 2015

Can it be done?

Readers are aware that an issue of importance we follow is that of jurisdiction of courts-martial.  We are interested in how other countries deal with court-martial jurisdiction compared to the U.S.  In the U.S., current law allows court-martial jurisdiction based purely on the accused's status regardless of the crime alleged or any consideration of a "service connection." Is the following an example of how the splitting of jurisdiction is possible?:
A Russian soldier accused of the motiveless killing of seven civilians near his army base in Armenia has been given a ten-year sentence for disciplinary offences at a court- martial, while the actual murder charges will be tried in a local court.
. . .
On August 12, a Russian court martial held at the Gyumri garrison found Permyakov guilty of desertion, stealing a weapon, and bearing it without permissions. He was given the maximum sentence, ten years.

Last month, the Russians handed over case files to Armenian investigators, who plan to bring a prosecution for murder under national jurisdiction. Prosecutors are preparing a case and arranging procedural matters, and lawyers acting for relatives of the victims are awaiting further announcements.
So reports the Institute for War & Peacekeeping.

Can it be done?  Should it be done?

If the argument against is the loss of leader control over discipline, then does the Russian example show otherwise?  Agreed, one anecdotal event doesn't prove the point.

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