[Pkb Unitcd Press Association.] AUCKLAND, January 4. On the arrival at Apia of the Navua, at noon on December 23, an oflicer went on board and handed to F. E. N. Gaudm a copy of the charges preferred against him bv the military authorities, with an intimation that the court would sit at 1.50 that day. It was 1 o'clock before the launch reached the shore, and consequently Gaudin had no time nor opportunity to prepare his defence nor to consult counsel. Although the court was open to the public, none of tho civilian residents was aware of the fact or that the trial was proceeding. The case was quickly disposed of in military fashion. The judges were Major Head (president), Captain "Gibb, and Lieutenant Gascoyne. The charges preferred were, as follow : Charge" I.—Committing an act of "war treason" in that he, at Apia, on or about the 30th day of October, 1914, carried on board the Navua : (1) A hirge amount of correspondence from subjects of the enemy to several prisoners of war, thereby 'assisting the said subjects to evade the censorship of letters; (2) a photograph of the wireless station addressed to Messrs Wilson and Horton, photographic editors of the Auckland ' Weekly News,' presumably intended for publication, thereby evading censorship; (3) a number of papers of manuscript intended for' publication in tho Auckland 'Weekly News' or other paper, thereby evading censorship. Charge 2.—Disobedience of Government regulations in that he, at Apia, on or about the 30th October, 1914, removed from the occupied territories of Samoa a considerable quantity of coin contrary to proclamation No. 3, dated September 30, 1914. After the trial the prisoner was returned to barracks, and at 10 o'clock next morning was ordered on board the Navua. Just before he embarked on the launch Captain Tottenham read to him the sentence of tho Court—five years' hard labor. Gaudin asked : "To whom can I appeal 1" Captain Tottenham replied : "To no court in the world." It is understood that a petition to the Governor for a remission of the sentence was immediately started, Gaudin being well and favorably known among all the residents of Apia. Gaudin was brought up from tho Islands by the Navua this morning. Tho sentence is regarded in Auckland as severe, and there is some talk of an indignation meeting being held.
Permanent link to this item
GAUDIN'S TRIAL, Evening Star, Issue 15692, 5 January 1915