HC Deb 11 February 1947 vol 433 c182
12. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for War how many Japanese war criminals have been tried and sentenced; and on what evidence have verdicts so far delivered been based.

Mr. Bellenger

With regard to the first part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to a Question by the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Piratin) on 28th January. In the trials before British courts the evidence is in the form of affidavits usually taken in this country from returned prisoners of war or testimony by witnesses appearing in person at the trial or statements made by the accused on interrogation and duly proved at the trial. In many cases the accused have elected to give evidence in their own defence and have then been cross-examined.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Can the Minister assure the House that the underlings who have been charged with crimes have not been given any disproportionate punishment for the part they played in the crimes under the orders of their superior officers?

Mr. Bellenger

I have no reason to believe that is the case.

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