14 Nov. 45

Charter, trial in absentia is permitted on principle against defendants who cannot be located, then corresponding laws of procedure of all states, and even of the German Code of Criminal Procedure agree to that.

A defendant who has escaped is absolutely different from a defendant who cannot argue his case, because in contrast to the latter, he has the possibility of appearing in court and thus, of defending himself. If he deliberately avoids this possibility, then he arbitrarily makes himself responsible for the disadvantages and dangers entailed by his absence. In this case, naturally, there would be no question of an unjust trial.

The view has been expressed in recent days and weeks that world opinion demands a trial against the Defendant Krupp under all circumstances, and even in absentia, because Krupp is the owner of the greatest German armament works and also one of the principal war criminals. So far as this demand of world opinion is based on the assumption that Krupp is one of the principal war criminals, it must be replied that this accusation is as yet only a thesis of the Prosecution, which must first be proved in the Trial.

The essential thing, however, in my opinion, is that it is not important whether world opinion or, perhaps, to use an expression forged in the Nazi work-shop, "the healthy instincts of the people," or even political considerations play a part in the decision of this question, but that the question (Article 12) must be decided uniquely from the point of view of whether justice demands the trial against Krupp. I do not want to deny that the cries of justice may be the same as the cries echoing world opinion. However, the demands of world opinion and the demands of justice may be in contradiction to each other.

In the present case, however, a contradiction between the demands of world opinion for a trial against Krupp in absentia and the demands of justice exists because, as I just related, it would violate the recognized principles of the legal procedures of all states and especially Article 12 of the Charter, to try a mentally deranged man who cannot defend himself in a trial in which everything is at stake for the defendant,-his honor, his existence, and above all, the question of whether he belongs to the accursed circle of the arch-war criminals who brought such frightful misery to humanity and to their own Fatherland. I do not even wish, however, to put the disadvantages and dangers for the man and the interests of the defendant into the foreground. Much more significant are the dangers and disadvantages of such an unusual procedure for basic justice, because the procedure against such a defendant, who is unfit for trial due to his total inability to conduct his defense properly, cannot guarantee a just and right decision. This danger for basic justice, must, in my opinion, be avoided by a court of