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THE GREENLEES MURDER.
Tnn Boura SE«. ROMANCE.
In the High Commissioner's Court at Suva, Fiji, on the 10th August, boforo the Hon. H. S. Berkeley, Chief Judióla! Commissioner, judgment waB given on the points raised by Mr. Soott, on behalf of Captain Weaver, who was oharged with the murder of Captain Greenloos, of the Colonist, in arrest of judg- ment, for want of jurisdiction, on the grounds that it appears ou the faco of the rcoord that tho prisoner and the deceased wore both British subjoots, and that it appears on the faoo of the record that tho oflonce of whioh tbo prisonor had been convioted was com- mitted on a British ship, in tho harbour of Havannah, Sandwioh Island, and not in the Island of Sandwioh as oharged in the indict- ment. His Honour had no doubt that, under the provisions of the Western Paoific Ordor in Council, 1877, tho offonoo of which tho prisoner had been convioted was oognisablo in that court. The motion for arrest of judgment therefore failed, and the prisonor was brought up for sentence.
When asked by the registrar (says the Fifi Times) if be had anything to Bay why sontenoo of death should not be passed upon him.
Captain Weaver said, addressing the Judge : You have asked me if I havo anything to say. I have a fow words to whioh I roquost you will bo good enough to give that attention you gave to the witnesses. In the first place I happen to be an Englishman peculiarly. That is, not a British subjoot undergonoral tonne, butan Eng- lishman born and bred, whoso ancestors obtainod Magna Charta ; and, thoroforo, by the right of Magna Charta, I demand a right of trial by jury. With regard to tbo trial and what you said to the assessors, sir, you take exception to soveral matters which I roally think I have a right to draw your attention to. In the first place, with regard to the witnesses in Sydnoy, you suggest why did not some of my friends como down to Suva ? Perhaps you aro not aware that the only ono who could havo sworn to tho insanity of any membor of my family was Mr. Riobard Weaver, who ÍB over 70 years of ago, and shaky; and ho is the only one in the southern hemisphere who oould give testi- mony as to what happened in Groat Britain. Secondly, you dwelt upon the £160 not being paid to Mr. Phillips. I havo the reooipts and all the requisite documents to provo that the £160 was paid, and proceedings in tho Civil Court aro now being taken against him by my attornoy in Sydnoy. I will not dwell much further, your Honour, oxcopt on tho foot with regard to the defence sot up on my bohalf I particularly wished to call fuller evidence only we bad been advised, I may say, by my Sydney solicitor, who laid the matter before the Chief Justice, air Frederick Darloy, and Judges in Chambers, who unanimously de- clared there was no jurisdiction, and thoroforo wo only went to what we considered the re- quisite expense without spending moro than £200 or Ü300. Otherwise I was prepared to show it was a moral impossibility for me to have been the individual who shot William Greenlees. With regard to that subjoot your Honour spoke of the motive and spoke of a ?uarrel having taken plaoo the evening before,
t was my intention to havo brought in tho evidence of tbo mate and Gustafssen at tho
preliminary inquiry at Havannah Harbour, before the Deputy Commissioner. These wit- nesses solemnly swore, in reply to questions by Captain Bosanquet, that no such quarrel ever took place, and the only words that woro said that night had reference to the ship being ready for sea, and to some matters which hod to bo done owing to the drunkenness of the man M'Cloy ; and my romark about " in tho morn- ing" was what any man would have said to his man of business about something to be seen to in the morning. Therefore that motive is done away with, because tbey oither told tbe truth at ono timo or at the other; and to bear out tho evidenco given at the first trial it must bo borne in mind that thirty-six hours after the event their minds were fresh, and in a fortnight they had time to concoct a story. Had euch a quarrel taken place as tbey sala, the cook would havo been roused by the talk. Now, morally, I could not have doue it without being two physlcaljpeople, two distinct corporal identities. According to tho distinct evidence of tlie cook and the witness Gustafssen, both of whom must hare been within two feet of mo at the time, OB the cabin was only four feet broad on the floor, there were two revolvers. One was of white metal, which oould be seen as far as from one end of this court to another, even in a dark place. The other revolver is a little one, and buck, new, and shiny. The witness Gustafssen and the cook emphatically and positively swore to my standing in front of William Greenlees with the white revolver, only 2f (j. from them, and shooting that man in front with three bullet* so quickly there was no time to interfere, and at the same time stand- ing behind bim and catching him in his arms when he fell backward. Such a thing I think I hare shown your Honour is imposati le unless I hare two bodies. First as to motive, second as to actual fact. You will say, "Who did itf" I contended contrariwise to my counsel, ' who suggested that if I set up the defence I waa not the man the onus would rest on me to prove who did it. I think your Honour will agree with me the onus rests with the Crown? Am I not correct, your Honour? I therefore sar X am unable to «ay, and even if it wera
necessary, who did it. . I have no cognisance of what took plaoe that night. I am not speaking as to sanity, and I would not take up your time with it. First I havo shown the motive was false, and next, by the Crown's evidenoe, it was a moral impossibility for mo to havo been the man who shot Greenlees. Now, your honour, I havo finished.
In passing sentence of death his Honour said, You have beenjfound guilty on an indict- ment oharging you with the murdor qf one William Greenlees, to which indiotment it -wau pleadod on your behalf that you wero insane at the time you oommitted the act oharged against you. Buring the trial it was not suggested for a moment that any other hand than yours had fired tho shots that cnused the death of the man Greenlees. You now say it was impossible that you could have been the man. The evi- dence, in my view, sbowB a deliberate intention on your part to kill this man Greenlees, and it shows an organised plan to conceal your crime and to ebcapo pumshmeut. The plea of insanity that you raised has been carefully examined. Two assessors and myself have oomo to the conclusion that that plea was not Buppoitod ; that you wero a porfeotly sana mau at the time you committed that doed ; that you did oommit it ¡ that you knew what you woro doing ; that you intended to kill Captain Greonloes, and know you were bienking the law ; and ondeavoured to screen yonrsolf from punishment by concealing his body, and en- deavouring to put the officer of the man-of war's boat off tho Boont by giving a falso explanation of the noise of tho firing heard. Two othor assessors havo come to tho conclusion that at tho time you wore Buffering temporarily from insanity. Thoir viowa will no communi- cated to the proper authority; but I oaunot hold out to you any hopo or expectation that their views-being as I tako it unwarranted by evidenoe-will havo any effect ou the sentenoo it is my duty to pass upon you.
[The death sentence lias sinoe been aommuted to imprisonment for life.]