Portugal: Soldiers go on trial over commando training deaths

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The trial has started in Portugal of 19 members of the country’s military after two 20-year-old soldiers died during commando training.

The men, including eight officers, are accused of overstepping the limits of what is allowed in the strenuous training course and showing “a clear disregard” for the victims.

The prosecution alleges the instructors were “extremely violent” in how they treated the trainees, jeopardizing their welfare. The charges also include abuse of power, causing physical harm and failing to help someone in need.

The two soldiers died in September 2016 when temperatures in their training area exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Their families are seeking 700,000 euros ($820,000) in compensation.

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