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United States v. Josef Altstoetter, et al.

Military Tribunal III
Council Law No. 10, 1946-1949, Vol. III (1951)


Facts

In February 1947, the U.S. Military Government for Germany created Military Tribunal III to try sixteen important German judges and legal officials (including Josef Alstoetter, defendant), nine whom were officials in the Reich Ministry of Justice. All defendants were charged in the indictment with “judicial murder and other atrocities, which they committed by destroying law and justice in Germany, and then utilizing the emptied forms of legal process for the persecution, enslavement and extermination on a large scale.” All defendants were specifically charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes against civilians in territories occupied by Germany and against soldiers of countries at war with Germany, as well as crimes against humanity against German civilians and nationals of occupied territories. All defendants plead “not guilty,” and the Military Tribunal III issued its judgment on December 3 and 4, 1947.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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