Saturday, 17 November 1945
THE PRESIDENT The Tribunal would like to know whether the Chief Prosecutors wish to make a statement with reference to the Defendant Bormann.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, as the Tribunal are aware, the Defendant Bormann was included in the Indictment, which was filed before the Tribunal. There has been no change in the position with regard to the Defendant Bormann; nor has any further information come to the notice of the Chief Prosecutors. I think that the Tribunal are aware of the state of our information when the Indictment was filed, but it might be as well, if the Tribunal approves, if I explained what was the state of our information at the time of the filing of the Indictment, which is also the state of our information today.
There is evidence that Hitler and Bormann were together, with a number of Nazi officials, in the Chancellery area in Berlin on 30 April 1945, and were, at one stage on that day, together in Hitler's underground air raid shelter in the Chancellery gardens.
On 1 May Bormann and other Germans tried to break out of the Chancellery area in a tank. They got as far as the river Spree and tried to cross a bridge over it. A hand grenade was thrown into the tank by Russian soldiers. Three members of the party who were with Bormann in this tank have been interrogated. Two think. that Bormann was killed, and the third that he was wounded. The position is, therefore, that the Prosecution cannot say that the matter is beyond probability that Bormann is dead. There is still the clear possibility that he is alive.
In these circumstances I should submit that he comes within the exact words of Article 12 of the Charter:
"The Tribunal shall have the right to take proceedings against a person charged with crimes set out in Article 6 of this Charter in his absence, if he has not been found."
In other words, it is not necessary to hold the man in these cumstances The Tribunal laid down in its Rules of Procedure in Rule 2 (b) the procedure applicable to this situation:
"Any individual Defendant not in custody shall be informed of the Indictment against him and of of his right to receive the
Last modified: October 10, 1998