Paras deny sex attack in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

Nine paratroopers have denied indecently assaulting a fellow soldier in Afghanistan, a court spokesman said today.

The servicemen will face a court martial next April following the alleged incident in Helmand Province in September 2006.

A spokesman for the military court in Colchester, Essex, said eight men have been charged with "disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind".

A ninth man has also been charged with neglecting his duty by failing to intervene.

The spokesman said all nine men entered not guilty pleas when they appeared at the court last Friday.

The court martial will begin on April 20.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Nine 3 Para soldiers will appear before a court martial at Colchester in April 2009. It would be inappropriate to comment further."