A German general in charge of morale and ethics has been suspended after being accused of forcibly trying to kiss a male soldier at the Invictus Games.
Maj Gen Markus Kurczyk was temporarily relieved of his duties over the weekend pending an investigation into the sexual harassment claim, Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper reported.
Prior to his suspension, the air force officer had been commander of the German military’s “internal leadership” centre in the city of Koblenz. The centre trains officers and business executives in modern leadership culture and good soldierly conduct.
The incident is alleged to have happened earlier this month in Düsseldorf at the Invictus Games, a sports tournament for wounded soldiers whose founding patron is Prince Harry.
The alleged victim, who has not been named, complained to the German Defence Ministry on Friday that Maj Gen Kurczyk tried to kiss him on the mouth without his consent.
The 58-year-old, who has 40 years of service under his belt including three tours of Afghanistan, has not responded to the allegations against him.
‘Grave attack on dignity’
The training centre’s chief of staff, Col Thomas Berger, has taken over management of the facility, officials said on Saturday.
The German army recently issued new guidance on sexual harassment, describing it as “a grave attack on the dignity and bodily integrity of the affected person”.
The “internal leadership” centre would have provided training on the guidelines, local media reported.
The claim is the second case of alleged sexual harassment by a Bundeswehr general to come to light in recent weeks after one-star General Frank Reiland was accused of making lewd comments to an intern.
He was later promoted despite the complaint, but apologised after the allegations were made public.
Nearly 360 reports of alleged sexual offences were received by the Bundestag’s Armed Forces Commissioner Eva Högl in 2022.
She said there were a much higher number of unreported cases because of power imbalances in the army, and added that some historical investigations had stalled or come to nothing.
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