14 Dec. 45

The second is, does it have relevancy? If it has not, of course it should not come in.

The evidence in question has relevance; no one questions that. No one can say that an affidavit, duly sworn, does not have some probative value. What probative value it has, the weight of it, should be determined on the submission of the case. That is to say, if a witness has made a statement in an affidavit, and it is denied by Mr. Kaltenbrunner, and you believe that the denial has weight and credibility, of course, the affidavit should not be considered in the final consideration of the case. But we are dealing here with events that took place over great periods of time and great distances. We are dealing with witnesses widely scattered and a situation where communications are almost at a standstill.

If this affidavit stands at the end of this case undenied, unchallenged, it is not, then, beyond belief that you would give it value and weight. An affidavit might bear internal evidence that it lacked credibility, such as evidence where the witness was talking of something of which he had no personal knowledge. I do not say that every affidavit that comes along has probative value just because it is sworn to. But it seems to me that if we are to make progress with this case, this simple system envisioned by this Charter, which was the subject of long consideration, must be followed; that if, when a piece of evidence is presented, even though it does not comply with technical rules governing judicial procedures, it is something which has probative value in the ordinary daily concerns of life, it should be admitted. If it stands undenied at the close of the case, as many of these things will, then, of course, there is no issue about it; and it saves the calling of witnesses, which will take an indefinite period of time as we have already seen. I may say that the testimony of the witness Lahousen, which took nearly 2 days, could have been put in, in this Court, in 15 minutes in affidavit form, and all that was essential to it could have been placed before us; and if it were to be denied you could then have determined its weight.

We want to adhere to this Charter. I submit it is no reason for deviating from the Charter that an affidavit recites horrors. I should have thought that the world could not be more shocked by recitals of horrors in affidavits than it has been -in the documents that have proceeded from sources of the enemy itself. There is no reason in that for departing from the plain principles of the Charter.

I think the question of orderly procedure and the question of time are both involved in this. I think that the Tribunal should receive affidavits, and we have prepared them — we hope carefully, we hope fairly — to present a great many things that would take days and days of proof. I may say that this ruling is more important