In a development that only loads more pain on the families and friends of two young recruits who died during Commando training during blistering temperatures last year (click here), it has been revealed that the doctor suspended for “gravely violating his functional duties” towards the young men was awarded a medal for exemplary conduct the day before the first victim died.
The news comes as Miguel Onofre Domingues is one of 18 defendants suspected of abuse of authority and negligent homicide in the case, and appealing the results of a disciplinary hearing that ordered his suspension over the deaths of 20-year-olds Dylan da Silva and Hugo de Abreu.
Domingues was cited in Correio da Manhã back in November for having allegedly made the critically ill recruits ‘crawl to the ambulance’ after they were taken ill, thereafter leaving them for two hours in a tent with two nurses – along with 25 other victims (of heatstroke) “which he considered to be non-urgent”.
Army spokesman Vicente Pereira has attempted to reduce the shock out of today’s news by saying the medal for exemplary moral and disciplinary conduct is awarded “automatically”, to “all soldiers who complete 15 years effective service without any kind of criminal or disciplinary condemnation” – which, up until last September, Domingues did not have.
Should the army doctor eventually be found guilty of the young soldiers’ deaths, as noticiasaominuto claims “will certainly happen”, then the chances are that he will not be able to look forward to a gold medal – awarded when military personnel reach 30 years of unblemished service, said Pereira.