Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 1 : Memorandum of the British Prosecution
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British War Crimes Executive (E.S.)

12 November 1945

To: The International Military Tribunal.

The British Chief Prosecutor has had the opportunity of considering the application of the Defending Counsel to the accused GUSTAV KRUPP VON BOHLEN UND HALBACH:

1) that the proceedings against this accused be deferred until he is again fit for trial;

2) at any rate, that the accused be not tried in his absence.

The British Chief Prosecutor opposes this application for the following reasons:

i) The medical position is that as far as can be foreseen the said defendant will never again be fit for trial, and therefore if he is not tried in his absence, he will not be tried at all.

ii) Although in an ordinary case it is undesirable that a defendant should be tried when he is unable to comprehend the charges made against him, or to give instruction for his defence, there are special considerations which apply to this case and make it essential for the Defendant Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach to be tried in his absence.

iii) As this is a case of conspiracy, the British Prosecutor submits that all the evidence directly concerned with the actions and speeches of the said defendant and the operations of Fried. Krupp A.G. would be evidence against the remaining defendants, if the Prosecution establishes a prima facie case:

a) that the conspiracy existed;

b) that the said defendant was a party to the conspiracy.

Such prima facie case is clearly indicated in the Indictment lodged with the Tribunal and the evidence against the present defendant set out in the American Answer to this Application.

iv) If this submission of the British Chief Prosecutor is correct and this evidence can and will be given in Court, then it is at least arguable that it is preferable for the said defendant to be represented so that his lawyer can deal with such evidence to the best of his ability.

v) It is a matter of common knowledge of which the Court may take cognisance that the business of Fried. Krupp A.G. is a vast organisation. There are, therefore, many sources within the Krupp firm from which the defending Advocate can obtain information which will enable him to deal with the allegations contained in the American Answer. If the Defendant Gustav Krupp is not retained in the list of defendants, there will be no advocate so well qualified to deal with those allegations on behalf of the other defendants against whom they will still be preferred.

vi) In the circumstances of this trial the kernel of the case for the prosecution is that a number of conspirators have agreed and worked together for the purpose of waging aggressive war and causing untold misery to the World. The public interest, that the defendant who is responsible for the preparation of armaments on the one hand, and the utilisation on arms production, of prisoners of war and forced labour, including detainees from Concentration Camps on the other, is one of "the interests of justice" within Article 12 of the Charter.

vii) Finally, it is earnestly desired that the wishes of the Tribunal as publicly announced at Berlin on the 18th October that the trial should open on the appointed day, namely, 20th November be realised and carried into execution. The British Delegation is strongly opposed to any postponement.

British Chief Prosecutor

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