Kuwahata Tsugio and another
DATE OF CRIMES
LOCATION OF CRIMES
Thuc-Duc-Mot, French Indochina (present-day Vietnam)
DATE OF TRIAL
30, 31 May and 5 June 1946
LOCATION OF TRIAL
The defendants were part of the Japanese Kempeitai at 40 Tank Brigade Workshop, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and they were charged for committing a war crime. In particular, the defendants were charged for the unlawful killings of two POWs of the United States Army Air Force. In or about the month of April 1945, 2nd Lieutenant Kuwahata Tsugio, the first defendant, was ordered by a superior officer, Major Tomita, to execute Allied POWs. He protested that this was beyond his scope of responsibility but was given a direct order to carry out execution. Major Tomita also claimed that the men were sentenced to death by Court Martial Sergeant Major Murakami Isao, the second defendant, and was selected to carry out the execution by decapacitation. The executions of Lamar Claude and Belonier Harold M. was carried out by the second defendant in the presence of the first defendant and two other soldiers four days later.
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The defence made reference to the Manual of Military Law 1929, and argued that the Japanese soldiers were obliged to follow the instructions and orders from their superiors even if they were made through 'fire and water'.
Kuwahata, Tsugio. 2nd Lieutenant. From Japanese military. From Japan. Guilty. 1 year's imprisonment. Sentence confirmed.
Murakami, Isao. Sergeant Major. From Japanese military. From Japan. Guilty. 1 year's imprisonment. Sentence confirmed.
Peacock, G.A. Lieutenant Colonel. From British military. Court president. Barrister-at-law.
Topping, R.J. Major. From British military.
Gray, W.M. Major. From British military.
Tompkins, William F. 1st Lieutenant. From American military. Attorney at Law, member of New Jersey Bar.
Hibbert, A.A. Major. From British military.
Konno, Sanai. Senior Officer. Judge of Local Court Tokyo.
DEFENCE ADVISORY OFFICERS
Hindermarsh, H. Lieutenant. From British military.