Army Admits Failings Over Libyan Soldiers At Bassingbourn

Councillors demanded answers from army chiefs in a meeting last night, over the alleged behaviour of Libyan troops based at Bassingbourn Barracks last year.

It follows five Libyan cadets being charged with sexual assaults on members of the public in Cambridge, last October.

Cambridge City council Leader Lewis Herbert was at the meeting.

He's told Heart some of the main points made, which were:

- "Unsupervised visits to Cambridge and other locations occurred, with transport arranged to Cambridge on 8 occasions and 7pm return pick up times agreed for those visits.

- "The Army had few 'incentives' (the word used in the Internal Review) for good behaviour and to motivate the trainees as the Libyan Government had stopped paying the trainees wages and the trainees were also increasingly disturbed about what would happen to them when they returned to Libya.  Visits were seen as incentives too.

- "The Army sent home 91 trainees during the training who failed to meet standards, including trainees guilty of offences. A range of offences took place on the barracks.

- "The trainees have since returned to their communities in Libya and are not part of an organised Libyan government force. There are still 3 or 4 Libyans in the UK asylum cases challenging planned deportation, and also five detained in relation to the charges for the alleged offences in Cambridge."

Lewis Herbert also added that he's continuing to ask for a full Internal Review, but the Army said it was not expected to be published until after the court cases are completed.

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