A senior army officer accused of having a sexual relationship with a subordinate while on deployment is being tried by a court martial.
Lieutenant Colonel Justin Putze is alleged to have entered into the relationship with a captain in his contingent in late 2017 and early 2018.
Putze has pleaded not guilty to four charges and one alternative charge, including failing to comply with written orders by entering into a relationship with his subordinate, failing to report the relationship, and lying to a superior about the alleged relationship.
He is also accused of engaging in a public display of affection while in a service environment by sharing “intimate embraces” with Captain Carolyne Cappola.
Putze was the senior national officer in command of the New Zealand contingent in Sinai at the time.
White said Putze and Cappola had sex in March 2018, and entered into a “close personal relationship”. She said the incident in March was “characterised by the accused as a one-night stand”.
After returning to New Zealand, Putze was directly asked by Major General John Boswell whether he had entered into a relationship with Cappola.
He allegedly told Boswell he did not enter into any relationships with any members of his contingent.
White said the actions were likely to “prejudice discipline”.
He told the panel of military members most of the prosecution case was just that.
Even if the panel thought he was in a relationship, they had to be sure he knew he was in a relationship, he said.
There are 13 prosecution witnesses due to be called, including Cappola, Boswell, Putze’s ex-wife, and Cappola’s ex-husband.
The trial, which is taking place in Trentham, Upper Hutt, resumes tomorrow.