Re Sone Kenitji

CourtObsolete Court (Dutch West Indies)
Date14 Agosto 1946
Docket NumberCase No. 125
Netherlands Indies, Temporary Court Martial, Batavia.
Case No. 125
In re Sone Kenitji.

Prisoners of War — Treatment of — Maltreatment of as a War Crime.

III-treatment of Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees — Systematic Terror — Responsibility of Subordinate Members of Armed Forces.

The Facts.—The accused, a captain in the Japanese Army, was commandant of a prisoners-of-war camp from September 1942 to June 1945, and subsequently of the internment camp at Tjideng (Java). In the former were Dutch, Ambonese, Australian, British and American prisoners of war, among them the Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief; in the latter civilians, mainly women and children. The accused was charged with systematically terrorizing the persons in his charge and inflicting on them grievous bodily and mental suffering. Details of these charges are set out in the judgment.

Held: that the accused was guilty and should be sentenced to death.

The general medical and food supply of the camps was controlled by the Headquarters of the Japanese Army. The individual camp commandants were unable to exercise a decisive influence. In this respect, therefore, the primary responsibility lay with the superiors of the accused, Ananie and Kawabe. However, the many personal acts of cruelty which he perpetrated on prisoners of war, such as smashing an officer's wrist with a stick, drawing blood from a sergeant's face with a cane and confining him for a month in a dark, damp cell full of mosquitoes without a net, leaving the wounded without treatment for hours, and other such inhumane acts, proved his sadistic mentality and justified his reputation as a brute...

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