MR. JAMES LOWTHER
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether Major Lothaire has been tried and acquitted at Boma by a tribunal which had been recognised by Her Majesty's local representative as a court of competent jurisdiction; whether there is any foundation for the report that attempts are being made to place Major Lothaire a second time upon his trial; and, whether it is in conformity with the criminal procedure of any civilised State that a person should be tried twice for the same offence?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. GEORGE CURZON,) Lancashire, Southport
Major Lothaire has been tried and acquitted at Boma by the Court of the Congo State, at which Her Majesty's Vice Consul was present in his official capacity. We have as yet, however, no knowledge of the nature of the proceedings, and cannot receive the official Report for some weeks. The law of the Congo State under which the trial was held provides for an appeal, notice of which must be lodged within two months of the judgment. Her Majesty's Vice Consul has been instructed to see that this notice is given in order to prevent the right lapsing by default; but no opinion can be offered as to the prosecution of the appeal until the Report has been received.