30 Nov. 45

In the proceedings which have already been opened against Hess, the Court is to decide solely the question whether the defendant is fit or unfit to be heard, and further, whether he might even be considered entirely irresponsible.

The Court itself has posed this question affecting the proceedings against Hess by asking the experts to state their opinion, firstly, on whether the defendant is in a position to plead on the charge; secondly, on his state of mind, whether he is mentally sound or not.

With regard to question 1 (Is the defendant in a position to plead?) the Tribunal asked the experts specifically whether the defendant is sufficiently in possession of his mental faculties to understand the proceedings and to conduct his defense adequately--that is, to repudiate a witness to whom he has objections and to understand details of the evidence.

The experts to whom this task was entrusted have, in separate groups, examined Hess for a few days and have stated their expert opinion on these questions in writing. As the defendant's counsel I consider it my duty, after studying the reports of these experts, which unfortunately, I could not do as carefully as I desired since time was short, and in view of my knowledge of the defendant and my experience in almost daily contact with him, to state my opinion that the defendant Hess is not in a position to plead in the case against him.

I am therefore obliged to file the following applications on behalf of the Defendant Hess:

Firstly, I request a ruling to suspend the proceedings against Hess temporarily. Secondly, if his inability to plead is recognized by the Tribunal, I request that the proceedings against the defendant be not conducted in his absence. Thirdly, if the Tribunal rules that Hess is fit to plead, I request that in addition other competent psychiatrists be consulted for an authoritative opinion.

Before I come to the reasons for my applications, I should like to say, at the request of the defendant, that he himself considers he is fit to plead and would himself like to inform the Court to that effect.

May I now state the reasons for my application:

In regard to my first application:

If the defendant is not fit to plead, I request that the proceedings against Hess be temporarily suspended.

In this connection may I refer to the opinions already submitted to the Tribunal.

After examining the questions placed before them by the Tribunal, the experts have come to the conclusion which is embodied in what I may call the main report signed by a mixed