AUTHORITIES INTERFERE. A DETERMINED SOCIALIST. AMSTERDAM, June 29. Dr. Liebknccht, the former leader of the Socialist party, has been ssjjjenced to two and a-half years' penal servitude and dismissal from the army for attempted high treason and gross insubordination. At the instance of the authorities the Court sentenced him to the lowest penalty admissible, as it was considered that he was not guided by dishonest feeling,, but by political fanaticism.
An interesting account of tlie eircum-j stances in which Herr Karl Liebknecht, was arrested during a street demonstra-j tion on May 1 was contained in a recent; report of the proceedings of the Standing Orders Committee of the Reichstag. The folbpwing account is taken from the "Berliner Tageblatt," which quotes the reporter of the committee, Herr. Payer, a well-known Radical member, as saying that "Dr. Liebknecht has - admitted that he took part on May 1 in a peace demonstration' in the Potsdam Platz and incited those present with the cries, 'Down With; the war!' j'Downr with the Government!' The reporter-then read a leaflet with the headline, 'Join the May Festival,' drawn up and circulated by him, and also a handbill inviting attendance at a meeting at Potsdam Plate. Dr. Liebknecht admits having distributed as far as he was able the handbill, of which he still had' on him 120 copies, and the leaflet, of which 1,340 copies were found on his pereon. He says* he wanted to give expression to his views, and contended that his action-did not disturb public order and did not constitute treason. Dr. Liebknechjt -JiaSj.further admitted that he knew-tfia&heiught, as a. soldier-worker, to -have worn his uniform, but he appeared at the Potsdam Platz on May- 1 in- civilian clothes."
Tlie reporter then read the police evidence, which corroborated Dr. Liebknecht's admissions, adding the detail that "he resisted his airrest by physical effort, and had to be taken away hy force." In the opinion of Herr Payor, Dr. Liebknecht rendered himself guilty of a treasonable offence by his call for the resumption of the "class war," by "having invited the people to fight their own Government, and by having thus rendered assistance to . the enemy Powers."
This report followed on a motion put forward by the two Socialist groups demanding Dr. Liebknecht's release'and the suspension of the action taken against him by the military authorities. Tlie spokesman of the Schneidemann group justified the arrest, but argued, that his Parliamentary immunity as' well as regard for the possible" effect .of hi 3 arrest upon the mind of the public" in "the future," ought to secure hie temporary release. This motion was rejected, no votes being recorded for it except those of the Socialists.
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Auckland Star, Auckland Star, Volume XLVII, Issue 155, 30 June 1916
LIEBKNECHT'S SENTENCE. Auckland Star, Volume XLVII, Issue 155, 30 June 1916
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