Public Prosecutor v H

Docket NumberCase No. 128
Date31 Enero 1950
CourtLocal Court (Netherlands)
Holland, District Court (Police Court) of Zutphen.
Case No. 128
Public Prosecutor

War — Termination of — End of the War with Germany in 1945 — Unconditional Surrender — Resumption of Trade Relations — Furtherance of Desertion by Soldier — Liability to Punishment only if Committed in Time of War.

The Facts.—H. was prosecuted for having in April and May 1949 given food and shelter to his son, a deserter, contrary to Article 104, paragraph 2, of the Criminal Code, which forbade the aiding and abetting of desertion by a soldier in time of war. At that time the state of war between Germany and Holland had not formally terminated (see the Note below).

Held: that the accused must be acquitted. Since under Article 104 the offence was punishable only if committed in time of war, the Court must first of all decide whether, in April and May 1949, a state of war still existed. This was not the case as far as the Netherlands was concerned. A war ends not only by the conclusion of a peace treaty but also, inter alia, by the definitive cessation of hostilities and the restoration of the former friendly relations between the belligerents. (The Court referred here to...

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