Draft dodgers brought to trial

The number of draft dodgers that have been brought before a military tribunal in the first half of the year has risen more than fourfold compared to 2001, Defense Ministry sources said yesterday. Sources said the conservative government has stepped up efforts to apprehend those hoping to avoid serving their country, as evidenced by data in comparison with 2001. Additionally, just over three-quarters of those brought to court have already been inducted into the army and are presently doing their military service, the source said. Although no further information was forthcoming, the source added that everyone knew about the problem but no one was prepared to do anything about it. According to the Defense Ministry, rackets involving corrupt doctors and military officials that facilitated draft dodgers have been smashed. At the start of the year, defense chiefs called on draft dodgers to turn themselves in or risk being revealed by an investigation into some 30,000 men who had not performed their military service. The investigation took place but the names of the draft dodgers were not made public. The military began a probe in October 2004 into all conscripts who have been excused from duty on medical grounds or have not reported for service.