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WHAT THEY WERE TRIED FOR. LORD .KITCHENER'S REPORT.
His I xcelleney the Governor (uncí ti Ins foin irdid us u cop» ot the t illowing e dill mt^ïxige lie iiccnid lioni U id Kilchurn vcsttuli) in nplv to tin litpicst undo tlnougli His J\iillenc» by Ml Huton foi jiifoiinution eniitirnmg tin coull mutial
on \ustriliin- in ¡smtli Urin -
In leplv to »oin tilcgi mi Aim mt, Iluiukoil, mil \\ itton weit elnrgcd witli 20 stpuito inmdiis, mi biding one ot n (.cumin nusHonaiv, who li ni witntssiil othei niurilers J wilve of Un e min du = vveie preved
' I rom the cvtdcnto it appeals lint Alirenl »vin the ot ie,nt itoi of the ennuis ?whieli H llidem 1; i lined out in a told blooded nniiliei Hie iiiuideis were com nulli(1 in Hie wildest put of the li ins v i d 1 uotvn is Spilonl en, ibout 80 nulls to tin noilb ot Picton i on four htpaiuti dites n iinelv lui) 2 August li, \ugtlsl 2) md Scptcmbei 7
lu one nisi nilen eight Hool ptisinirs were miiidilid it »» i« illeged in defence
to have been done m i -pint >t levenge foi the ill treatment ol one ni Unit nth cirs Jaculen ml Hunt who w is li Heil m iel ion-no such ill treatment »vis proud
J he pt »ontrs wen tomit ed iltei i most c\lni|st»o li eil mil wen détende I b) loimsel llieie »»eic m ni) opinion no extenuating eiicunist inico LieiUcn ant Witton w is» ilso ton» ii ted but I tom muli ti lim scnttntc to pin ii semttid»- for lift in consideration oi hs hi»mt, been undci the inllticntc of Moi ml mil Utiiid lick
( opics of the proceedings hive bion sent bonn
WAR OFFICE STATEMENT. . AN EXHAUSTIVE TRIAL
TWELVE CASES OF MURDER.
LONDON, April 5.
Tho'AYar Office has issued the following statement of Hie events leading up to the trial and conviction of the condemned of- ficers:
. In duly and Augusl the I?iisli«-cldt Carbineer* Regiment, recruited in South Africa, and including Australian and other colonial members, was employed in the wildcat pail, of the Transvaal, known as Spelonkcn (about 80 miles north of , Preloiia). They took a certain number
of prisoners, and in Oelober it caine to the knowledge of the British military ' authorities Hutt certain officers' lind, (lur-
ing tlic previous thiee" months, been guilty ot grave irregularities. An ex , baustis-e inquiry was ordered, and a
Court assembled on October 10.
The result ol' the preliminar), inquiry was that (ive bfliccrs weie ordered to be tried by general court-martial nfc Pietcra btirg. The trial look plnce in January, and the olliteis were found guilty, either as principals ' or accessories, of 12 distinct charges of murder. Lieutenants , P. J. il.-iiidcock uni] H. li, Mornnt were
sentenced to death; the sentences ss'ere confirmed by I-iord Kitchener, and were
'.> duly carried out. These t««-o officers
? ««-ere charged wiUi Hie murder of the , ;Isc«\ C. Hcese, a German missionary, on
.August 23. mid. though Hiera i«_s ti . .strong suspicion (hat llandcock, insti-
gated by Morant, committed the deed, llii> evidence «va» not considered sufficient '? to jusUfv n conviction, and the men were ii acquitted of the .charge.
'a -, Lieutenant G. H. Witton was nmongst
iiplliose found guilty of murder and 'sen- '
. iicñccii""to death, but ns the Court found
. timt he was ]>rcseul under Hie influence of senior officers, the sentence was com- muted by Lord Kitchener to penal ser-
vitude for life.
't Lieutenant 11. Picton was found guilty, '
of manslaughter. ,
Major Ii. W. Lonchan, who com- manded the Ilushveldt Carbineers, and who became uwurc of the crimes some time after their committal, ivas con ' victed of ciilp-blo neglect in omilting to
report the offenders. H_p was ordered tto Australia, his dismissal being ren- dered umieeessaiy by tho previous dis bandmeiit of the corps. ,
No doubt exists (the official statement , continues) tis to the guilt of the con- i domiiod ofliceis, whose pica in extenúa- I tion that u member of their corps íind ? i suffered ill-treatment at the hands of the , Boor« was not sustained by the evidence 1
at the trial.
The sentences, the statement cou- 1 eludes, were such a.s would have been in dieted on any officers found guilty, of
similar otfenct's. I,
CASE FOR THE ACCUSED.
LIEUTENANT riC'ION'S STORY.
LONDON, April S.
Lieutenant Picton, ,»vho »vas cashiered for his slitiru in the misdeeds of the Bushvoldt Carbineers, and who lias arrived in Eng- land by the steamer Canada (the vessel by which Lieutenant Witton arrived as u prisoner), has been interviewed by a re pioüi-iitaUvo of Hie "Daily Mail," to «-bum lie told the following story:
"We were attacking Durand A'iljoen's farm nt Dtiivelstoop, in September, and Lieutenant Hunt was left wounded on the verandah. Next day Lieutenant» Morant and Ilalidcock found the hotly hlripped and brutally kicked. The face and legs lind been slushed with a knife, one eye had boen gouged out, and the neck had been broken. The Rev. Mr. Renter, of tim ndjacent Ger- man missionary station, where Hunt vvuh buried, confirmed (his. Morunt and Hand cock hvvól'o to be iiweiiged, and ordered thal it the murderous »vere captured no ipmrtci- should be given them. A Poer (IrcMsrd in Hunt's dollies, who »vas cap- tured shortly aftervvaiils, got Hhort shrift.
"Jjater on eight other Roora were cap- tured. A drumhead court-martial was held, and ¡t was shown thal they belonged to Hie same party as the liner already shot. They, foo, were executed, bul revenge, not plun- der, was the motive for the deed. Morant illili Jliindcoek considered tli.it the laws of wat- justilieil tlicm in acting m they did. The (.tory told bv the 'Morning Leader' that the) hail C2II,(I00 with them «as n lie.' As to the «hooting of tlie missionary, Alis. Seine! (the wife ol' Colonel Schiel, líió German oitillciv olliecr who »las taken prisoner while lighting »vith tlio Boers) piovcil thal ll.imlrock ¡mel Morant «ere ni n fiirm-house 40 miles tuniy on the night of the murder. Moran!, when about,to die protested his innocence of Hie charges of
DEMAND BY "THE TIMES."
LONDON, April 5.
"The Times" demands this morning Hut moro InfiiruMtioii respecting the con- demned officers and the crimp» for which they Were i-nndeinnetl shall he published by Hie War Office. The details so far given, ii says, arc meagre, and the country lias n righi to know Hie exact truth.
OTHER TRUSS OPINIONS.
LONDON. April I.
All the leading London papers are offer- ing c.imnieitts i-pon the rase of the court
The "Daily Mail" "i.«'s that the guilt of certain irregular soldiers easts no stain
upon the conduit ol' the war 01 of the
Tile "Daily News," Hie pio-Boor organ, ulnnU that tlie ' minimum faits" adduced shoiv that Lord Kitchener is u just und leal less commandet
The ".Standard' »ns that misleading «titements had iistcied it niisundeistand- ing m A.istialn, but the tacts would ulti ni itch shiw tint Hie guilty had been tieated with the utmost equit).
The 'M .Tames Gazette" points out that Lord Kilt leuei's jusliie li is «indi catetl Hie hammi ol Hie ¡limy Austrilu should not, hiwuoi, be held i extensible for the misdeeds 01 inegnlai Hoop-.
Tilt Pill Mill Gazette" thinks tint the oveinpMn piiiiislimcnt meted jut to the guilt« stuiild ton« ince the Boers ot the tstn lnindfdness ot Bntisli justice
'the . Vu Yoik Mail" .nul the ' Xew A'oik L\pic»s" igiee tint Liri! Kitehenei s stein loni-e it iction should ptevent the intidcnt being chnigcd agiinst Oient Un
DISCLAIMER OF Silt G D MORANT
HONDÓN, Api 1 t
Adnuril "su Geoige Dtgbv Mot mt his denied Huit Licutcu mt Morant, w is bia son, 01 was in in» n iv iel i ted to him
lit, Ins bien ilrctid» e-\pl lined in ' 1 lie \igiis' tint Adnui.ll Mor mt li is on!» one son Lieut Cumin tntle-r Pilga i 1» Moi mt, of the- destiovei (Juill, on the Not 111 A me- llion and West Indi m -.talion |
THE OFFICIAL REPORT.
The Federal Commandant (Major-Gene- ral Dutton) fe», received the following ofti cidl repon of the li in! »md conviction ol' Major Lenehan and Lieutenants Moi-ant, Iiandcne-k, Witton, and Picton, of the Bush veldt Carbiueei-s. The report was not forwarded officially to the commandant, but was contained in au army order re- ceived privately by nu Australian olHcer, who handed it over to him:
ARMY (HlPllllS, SOUTH AFRICA.
Army Headquarters, Pretoria,
Keb. 28, 11)02. 1. Discipline.
The following exiracts from the proceed- ings ol' general eotii-ts-martial held at Pietet-sburg, Transvaal, between Jan. Ki and Keb. in, 1IKI2, for the trial of the under- mentioned prisoners, ure published for in-
(1) II. II. Morant, I». J. Hatuleock-, (¿. H. Witton, and II. Picton, of tholHish vcldt Carbineer*, «vere charged with:
Charge:-AVbcn on active service com- mitting the offence ol' murder.
Finding:-The f'ourt lind tho prisoner Morant guilty of niuriler, and lind the pri- soners il.-mdcock, Witton, and Picton guilty of manslaughter.
(2) 11. II. Morant, P. ,1. Handcocl», «ntl 0. ii. Wilton, ol' the Uushvcldt Carbineers, «vero charged with:
Charge:-When on active service com- mitting the offence of murder. - i
Kinding:-The Court lind the prisoners guilty of tile charge.
Sentence:-The Court .sentence the ' pri- soners Morant, iliindeoek, and AA'itlon to »itll'or death by being shot, and the pri- soner Picton to be cashiered.
Confirmation:-The general connu,inditig in-cliicf'lia» confirmed the sentence in the ca»e of the prisoners -Morant-, Ilandcoek, and Picton, but has- commuted the sentence awarded to the prisoner Witton to one of penal servitude for life.
Tile sentences nw-.-irtled to the prisoner» Morant »and Handcoek have been carried
(4) Major li. W. Lenehan, of the Bùsh veldt Carbineers, w-as charged with:
Charge:-When on active service, by cul- pable neglect, omitting to make it roporE which it «vas his duty to make. ,
Finding:-The Court lind the prisoner guilty of the charge. . t
Sentence:-The Court sentence the pri- soner to be reprimanded. ,'
The finding »'ind the sentence htis-e been > 'confirmed by the general eonimiintling-in
MR. BARTON'S' VIEW.
Tile cable message received by the Gover- nor-General from'Lord Kitchener »vus for- warded on to Mr. Barton hore to-day, lind, after reading it, Mr. Harton said:
"That seems to, put the; meit ter beyond doubt. »There are twj things it seems to establish-first, that there ivei'e mnrelers which it was impossible to pass over and which »vere necessarily the subject of severe punishment, and next Unit the question of the degree of punislniidnt was considered by Lord Kitchener, its\ is clear from his commutation of the punishment in the case of one of the officers, Witton. Tile matter is open io tins further comment-that the wild stories ivliieh have »been told as to plunder or robbery do not seem to be sub- stantiated. 1 hn»'e not received yet tiny information which for a moment justifies tile accusation of the taking of life for the purpose of plunder.'' \
lhere is a hope on the part of many that something will be done by your Govern- ment lo request a remission af some part of Witton'« sentence. Is «nell action' to be anticipated? > \
Mr. Barton answcvetl:-"The reduction of the sentence on Witton captiot. be con sielered with any pretence to justice until »ve gel the full evidence of the cWt-niarUil. 1 have no doubt jt will come Mere. Major Thouin», »rho defended the prisoners, has staled that he is bringing the evidence eiul here, 1 believe Major Thomas «Us a good officer, and is a gentleman of \good re- pute." \
What nie yin informed occurred in con- nection »vilh Major Lenehan? ^
"Ho was held under arrest while he awaited trial, but he »ras not imprisoned after his trial, because his pun Uli mont, »»-as njeiely a mild reprimand. Ile had neglected his dutv by not sending in papers, or some- thing like that. Ho was sent back, and\was escorted by a brother officer to Cape Town, »vliero he took ship." l
SYDNEY, .Sunday. \ Major Lenehan was made .iei,u-iiiiloil with the contents of Lmd Kitchenci's cable message to-day, and asked if he lind any statement lo m'ake. He declined to speak on the subject, ' merely replying "Wait until tlie official papers come out."
LIEUTENANT WITTON'S DEFENCE.
To-day Mr. 1'eacoek, the Premier of Ace- tona, will send on to the Prime Minister (Mr. Barton) the statement which lie re ce'nedftoin Lieutenant. Witton through the stale's agent in Capo Town (Mr. ',r.' W.
Ball). The Premier assumes that the federal authorities will take whatever ac- tion is necessary, and he is fonv.irding Mr. Barton all the information on Ide subject in his possession, lie intends to draw the Prime Minister's special attention lo the fuel that Mr. Kail expresses the view- that Wilton's case is one in »vhil'h action might be taken irith t'.ie object of mitigating the punishment.