Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 1, 1890
Mr. King to Mr. Blaine.
Constantinople , December 19, 1889. (Received January 10, 1890.)
Sir: In connection with my number 34 of October 16 last, I have the honor to inform you that the trial of Moussa Bay on the first batch of charges against him has ended and he has been acquitted.
The case has been carried up to the court of cassation on appeal.
I inclose the account of the trial as given in the Levant Herald, which is, I am informed, imperfect; but still it gives a general idea of how the case was conducted. The trial was public, and was regularly attended in an unofficial manner by Mr. Gargiulo, the dragoman of this legation, and a dragoman of the British embassy.
Should the verdict not be reversed by the court of cassation, he will probably be tried on other charges, as many stand against him yet, and the witnesses are here; some of which charges are more serious than those for which he has been tried.
The Grand Vizier has on different occasions spoken very frankly with me about this matter, and he has impressed me, as well as others, as being sincere. In the course of a recent conversation he said: “I hope he will be convicted. * * * I regard him as a brigand. * * * I do not expect to allow him to return to his country” (Kurdistan).
The condition of affairs in Armenia and this trial continue to attract considerable attention in England, and on the continent also.
The Köluische Zeitung recently (December 10) had an article severely reflecting on the manner in which the trial was conducted.
Public opinion here, even among the Turks, is becoming stronger against him. Considering these things, and the attitude of the Grand Vizier, and the pressure of the British ambassador, Sir William A. White, who grasps the important political bearings of the “Armenian question” far better than the Turks themselves, my own impression is that Moussa will be banished to some remote province. But it is quite possible that the case will drag its slow length along for many months.
I inclose a copy of the Porte’s reply to my note of October 7 last, which I have recently received.
Two things struck me in reading this: (1) The attempt to draw my attention from the main point by speaking of the articles taken from Messrs. Knapp and Raynolds; (2) the minister of justice has evidently not carefully studied the past history of the case. I inclose a copy of my answer, which I hope will continue the pressure against Moussa, and which I trust will meet your approval.
I may add that, aside from the consideration of local justice and the welfare of the plaintiffs in these cases against Moussa Bey, the trial has an important political bearing. It is the general opinion, except among the Turks, that Moussa Bey is a violent, bad, and very dangerous man; if he be not punished, it will give just grounds for renewed complaints against Turkish administration and especially against the Turkish courts.
I have, etc.,
The trial of Moussa Bey in the criminal court of Stamboul.
The trial of the Kurdish chief, Moussa Bey, began on Saturday last in the criminal court of Stamboul. The court was composed of the president, Vassif Bey, and the [Page 725] following members: Emin Effendi, Tahsin Effendi, Nicoiaki Effendi, and Artin Effendi Mostidjian. The imperial proctor was Halid Bey, proctor-general of the court of appeal. Izzet Bey and Mehmed Ali Bey, ex-proctor-general at Mossoul, were counsel for Moussa Bey; the party for the prosecution was represented by Simon Effendi Tinghir,
At midday the court was already filled to overflowing, the trial being in every respect of great popular interest. Outside the court hundreds of persons were stationed, eager to gain admittance if possible.
Before the members of the tribunal entered the court Mighirditch, one of the accusers took his seat in the court and with him the woman Koumash, the widow of Malkhos, whom Moussa Bey is accused of murdering. The unhappy woman was in a very nervous state and wept continually throughout the proceedings.
At about half-past 12 Moussa Bey was brought in, and a quarter of an hour later the members of the tribunal took their seats. Behind the president sat Gen. Tewfik Pasha and an aid-de-camp of the Sultan and several dragomen of the foreign missions.
The proctor-general then addressed the court. He said that the Order of the day included two counts of the accusation, but that the count regarding the murder of Malkhos must be adjourned to another day, as the legal delay of 5 days for the mazbata of the chambre des mises en accusation regarding this matter had not yet expired. The judges accepted this view. Upon this the proctor-general passed to the consideration of the count relative to the accusation brought by the Armenian Ohannes and his son Mighirditch.
In this affair the proctor-general said Mighirditch can not really be considered as a party, he having only played the part of denunciator in favor of his father. The latter, although a party in the trial, had not regularly appointed an attorney, and consequently Simon Effendi Tinghir, his counsel, could not to-day legally represent him. Izzet Bey and Mehmed Ali Bey, attorneys for Moussa Bey, spoke in their turn and supported the views expressed by the imperial proctor.
Simon Effendi Tinghir, counsel for the accusers, spoke in a contrary sense. He maintained that the man Mighirditch had also sustained losses; that he was present in the examination of the affairs as a party in the trial, and that he signed the two petitions presented in connection with the affair to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan. On Wednesday night a telegram to this effect was addressed to Ohannes. “We do not know,” added Simon Effendi, “why the answer has not yet come, but it will no doubt reach here very soon.”
The tribunal, however, dismissed the subject, and declared that for the present it would only occupy itself with the hearing of the witnesses.
The clerk then read the act of accusation relative to the Ohannes affair, of which the following is a summary:
Three years ago, on the night of July 24 (old style), Moussa, accompanied by his brothers and some other persons, came to the village of Ardak, in the sandjak of Moush, and set fire to a barn and a store of straw belonging to a man named Ohannes; he then entered the dwelling of the latter by forcing an entrance through a hole he had made in the wall, and by threats and menaces extorted from Ohannes the sum of £t.20.
The President. Moussa Bey, what have you to say to this?
Moussa Bey. I do not know Turkish well, and I express myself with difficulty in that language.
The President. Say what you can.
Moussa Bey then made the following statement:
At that time I was in a locality situated about 30 hours from Ardak when the fire occured. In any case I could not in my capacity of mudir, that is to say, a Government official having the confidence of the Government, commit such an act.
The President. In a word, you deny having set fire to Ohannes’s barn?
Moussa. I deny it absolutely.
The President. What have you to object to the accusation brought against you regarding the extortion of £t.20?
Moussa Bey. I did not extort the £t.20. I had lent £t.100 to Ohannes. He sent me one day 40 medjidiés as an installment of his debt, and also a quantity of sugar melons, pumpkins, etc., which represented my part of the produce of a field which we were cultivating together.
Here the proctor-general intervened and proposed to hear the witnesses. There were six of them; the proctor-general demanded that all witnesses except the one under examination should be removed, so that one may not hear what the other says. “Several contradictions have already been noticed in their declarations, and if this precaution is not taken, it will be impossible to clear up the matter satisfactorily and mete out justice, which is our sole aim.”
The court agreed to this proposal. Boghos, one of the witnesses, was then called.
Boghos said that he saw the fire on the night of the 21st of July. He ran to the spot, [Page 726] where he perceived Moussa Bey, Eumer Bey, and Jago Bey, and another person, all on horseback. There were several other persons there whom he did not know. He saw Moussa Bey put fire to the straw lying outside the barn. The horsemen then left the village, firing some shots. He (the witness) called out to the villagers to extinguish the fire. Two men who were sleeping in the barn were nearly burnt to death; when rescued by the villagers their clothes were already on fire. He, the witness, took care to avoid Moussa Bey’s presence. “I did not want to be seen by him, because I am afraid of him; he kills the people.” Examined as to the motives which may have impelled Moussa Bey to commit the act, the witness said there existed a strong enmity between Moussa Bey and Ohannes. The proctor then asked the witness to name the colors of the horses ridden by Moussa Bey and his companions. This the witness did, and then added that he saw the journeyman Yakoub arrive on the spot at the same time as he did.
The Proctor. Did Yakoub see you also?
Witness. That does not concern me; let Yakoub say whether he saw me or not.
The Proctor, continuing the cross-examination of the witness Boghos, put several questions regarding the particulars of the rescue of the men in the barn, etc. He asked, among other things, how the clothes of these two men which were on fire were extinguished, whether by throwing water on them or otherwise? [Murmurs in the court.]
Witness. How can I know that? It is the villagers who extinguished the flames on the clothes.
In answer to another question witness declared to having seen Ohannes, the owner of the barn, come to the spot later on.
The President. Where was Mighirditch all this time?
Witness. I did not see him; he was at Bitlis.
The President. Was it moonlight?
Witness. What is moonlight?
The President. Could you see the moon
Witness. No; it was dark.
The President. What day did the event occur?
Witness. In the night of 24th of July.
Izzet Bey, counsel for Moussa Bey, then put some questions regarding the particulars of the fire and the position taken up by Moussa Bey and his brothers on the spot. The first witness was then removed from court and the second witness, Yakoub, called. Yakoub is an old man, speaking with a broken voice which is hardly audible.
The deposition of the witness may be summarized as follows: He saw the fire and hastened to the spot; here he espied three horsemen engaged in firing the straw; he gave the alarm; he recognized Moussa Bey, Eumer Bey, and Mourad Bey; the two first were on horseback. Several villagers came to the spot, but when they arrived Moussa Bey was gone. He heard in the distance the firing of two shots. Two servants who were in the barn were rescued. He saw Boghos on the spot.
The President. Had Boghos arrived before or after you?
Witness. I do not know.
The Proctor. Did Boghos see you?
The Proctor. What did he tell you?
Witness. Was there time to talk then? I cried out for help. I did not then say that it was Moussa Bey who had set the fire. I said so 4 or 5 days after.
The President. Who was in the barn?
Witness. Guiaz (John) and Ovo (Avidis).
The Proctor. With what was the barn fired?
Witness (taking a few matches from the president’s table). With this.
The President. Did you see Ohannes?
Questions were then put to the witness regarding the color of the horses and other particulars.
The declarations of the two witnesses were thus to the effect that 3 years ago, on the night of the 24th of July, Moussa Bey and his brothers, Eumer Bey, Jago Bey, and Mourad Bey, fired the barn and straw of Ohannes. Their depositions do not agree as regards the exact time of the fire, their meeting on the spot, the whereabouts of Mighirditch, the suit of clothes worn by the servants in the barn, and upon some other particulars of like importance.
The imperial proctor concluded, therefore, that the declarations of the witnesses were contradictory. The court then rose, the next sitting being fixed for to-morrow, Tuesday, when the witness in the matter of the murder of Malkhos will be heard.[Page 727]
The second sitting in the trial of Moussa Bey began yesterday about 12:30. As on the first day, the court was full, and several persons who could not obtain seats remained in the precincts of the court during the proceedings. Behind the president sat Tewfik Pasha, Ahmed Pasha, and several dragomans of the foreign missions. In opening the sitting the president stated that Salih Bey had replaced Tahsin Effendi, one of the judges, who was absent owing to indisposition. Simon Effendi Tinghir hereupon declared that he was present on behalf of Garabet, son of Ohannes. Garabet confirmed the statement, and the court having taken note of the fact, the case proceeded. It was mentioned that Ohannes had replied to the telegram sent to him on Wednesday last, and has legally appointed Simon Effendi his attorney, of which fact the latter begged the court to take note.
The clerk now read the procès verbal of the last sitting, which was adopted, with some slight corrections proposed by the proctor-general, Halid Bey.
Mehmed Ali Bey, one of the counsel for the defense, asked permission to present certain objections to the declarations of the witness in the matter of the fire. This was opposed by the proctor-general, who recommended the hearing of all the witnesses before discussing their respective depositions. The court, however, agreed to accede to the demand of Mehmed Ali Bey. Hereupon Moussa Bey rose and addressed the court. He said that, contrary to the statements of the witnesses, there were no shops in the village of Ardouk; that the buildings so designated by them are simple huts with low walls covered with a timber roof. He denied the possibility of setting fire to them. He then stated that one of the witnesses could not possibly see or hear anything, as he was old and deaf. Moussa Bey concluded with the declaration that the witness had been bribed to appear against him.
Izzet Bey, counsel for the defense, followed, and maintained that his client was in a locality 40 hours distant from the spot when the fire occurred. Mehmed Ali Bey, the second counsel for the defense, also addressed the court in his turn. He criticised the declarations of the witness, laying stress upon the evident enmity of the Armenians towards Moussa Bey.
The Proctor. This is quite a speech, and he only asked permission to offer some remarks.
Mehmed Ali Bey insisted upon completing his remarks. He said that it was his duty to defend his client from the charge of criminality, and he considered it a duty to enlighten public opinion on the subject.
At the instance of the procuror-general the court refused to allow him to proceed, and the witness Ohannes was called. Witness said he was 46 years of age, and knew Garabet. As he was going his rounds as bekdji, he heard a noise in the village; it was then 4 o’clock at night. He approached and saw Moussa Bey, who threatened to blow his brains out unless he went away. The accused and his companions then pierced the wall, entered the house, and seized a number of things—linen, etc. Witness saw nothing more.
Cross-examined on matters of detail, witness contradicted himself at times. He declared that the wall was built of earth and stones; that he was between 100 and 200 paces from the scene of the crime, and that Moussa Bey had several followers with him.
Izzet Bey. Was the wall pierced when you arrived?
Witness. Nearly open.
Izzet Bey. At what hour of the night?
Witness. At 1 o’clock.
The Procuror. What was the size of the hole made in the wall?
Witness. A pick.
The Procuror. How much was carried away?
Witness. There were large and small bundles.
Izzet Bey. Who entered the house?
Witness. Mourad Bey and Eumer Bey.
President. At what time?
Witness. Towards half-past 4.
President. Was it moonlight?
The Procuror. Who made the opening in the wall?
Witness. Mourad Bey and Eumer Bey; Moussa Bey was on the roof.
Witness proceeded to describe the house. It was a native house, low pitched, and containing only one spacious apartment. Witness appeared much embarrassed, and the procuror-general noticed contradictions in his statements.
In reply to questions, witness said that he returned home and that other persons informed the proprietor of the robbery committed at his house.
The clerk read the first deposition of the witness, who declared having seen necklaces, bracelets, and other trinkets carried away by the said individuals.[Page 728]
Witness. I was in my room; I saw a gathering of people, and went out to see what was the matter.
The procuror-general again drew attention to the contradictions in the depositions of the witnesses, whom he taxed with imperfect knowledge of the Turkish language. It is impossible, he declared, that there should exist so many contradictions.
Another witness was called. This man did not know Turkish. The proctor proposed that a functionary should act as interpreter. Finally one of the audience, a native of Bitlls named Manouk, was accepted in that capacity.
Witness. We were on the watch; I approached a place; a man called out to me, “Go back or I’ll blow your brains out.” It was Moussa Bey, Ahmed Bey, and two persons. The two were engaged in making an opening in the wall of the house; the other two were watching the place. After taking the objects they went away. We were hiding in a hollow.
The Proctor. Who was with you?
Witness. Ohan, son of Nikho.
The Proctor. What time was it?
Witness. Half-past 4.
The Proctor. Was it moonlight?
Witness. The moon was low.
The Proctor. What do you mean?
Witness. The moon was 2 cubits above the horizon.
Simon Effendi explained that witness was describing the moon in her first quarter.
The Proctor. What month was it?
Witness. This month.
The Proctor. What year?
Witness. It is over 2½ years ago.
Izzet Bey. At what place had the witness and his companion arrived?
The proctor remarked that this question was a repetition.
Witness declared that his attention was attracted by the barking of the dogs.
The witness Ohannes was recalled, and declared that he had come from an opposite direction to that of the witness under examination. Witness stated that there was nobody in the house pillaged; that they reported the robbery after the departure of the thieves.
The court then adjourned for luncheon.
On the proceedings being resumed at 2 o’clock on Tuesday the witness Boghos was called, and Gaspar Effendi, who had acted as interpreter to the woman Koumash, was requested to interpret for this witness, the latter not understanding Turkish. After addressing some questions Gaspar Effendi abandoned the task, declaring that he could not understand the dialect of the witness. A man from the audience who gave his name as Karnik offered to act as dragoman. He unconsciously misinterpreted the declarations of the witness and murmurs were heard in the court. As Karnik was evidently incapable of understanding the witness, he was succeeded by a native of Moush.
The proctor asked how the wall was built.
Witness. In loose stones and earth, without mortar.
The proctor then asked for some further explanations and declared the answers of the witness to be contradictory.
The Proctor. Where was the family at this moment?
Witness. In the next room separated by a wall.
Izzet Bey. Is it the wall or the roof that was pierced? The witnesses say that it was the wall and the roof. Moreover, as their declarations are contradictory and compromise the honor of my client, I request that an action be entered against them for perjury.
The witness Hadji Kevork was called to give evidence in the matter of the stealing of the £t.20.
Witness. I was at Garabet’s. I saw Moussa Bey, Joso Bey, and the others. He took the £t.20.
The Proctor. Where was the money found, in the house?
Witness. No; in the village of Vartèrès.
The Proctor. How did Moussa Bey take the money?
Witness. By force. He bound the father and the son.
The Proctor. Where did he bind them?
Witness. To a strut.
The Proctor. Who counted the money?
The Proctor. You said he was bound.
Witness. He was attached by the body; the hands were free.
The Proctor. Was he maltreated?
Witness. Why should he be; did he not give the money asked? [Laughter.]
The Proctor. Did they bind the father and the son?[Page 729]
Witness. Not the father; he is old.
The Proctor. You just said that they had both been bound.
Witness. At first, yes; not afterwards. They remained bound during 3 to 4 hours. I was there.
The Proctor. Where was the money found; was it in gold or silver? Gold is very rarely to be found in villages.
Witness. It was in gold. Every peasant keeps one or two Turkish liras for the taxes, so that he may not be maltreated at the time of the collecting of the taxes. This is how £t. 20 could be brought together.
Here Moussa Bey rose and asked permission to speak. He opened his overcoat and drew a Koran out of his pocket; he also asked for a Bible, which was brought to him.
Moussa Bey. We Mussulmans believe in the Koran, but regard Christ as a prophet. Therefore, I swear upon these two sacred books that I have not committed the acts imputed to me. These Armenians are all against me. I have done them good. Let them now say what they wish.
A discussion arose after these words between Moussa and Garabet. The tribunal imposed silence on both.
The Proctor. What is the distance between the village of Ardouk and that of Vartèrès?
Witness. Five minutes.
The Proctor. With whom were you?
Witness. I was with Helo.
The Proctor. Were Moussa Bey and his people on horseback?
The Proctor. How many were they?
Witness. Moussa Bey, Eumer Bey, Hassa, Mourad Bey, in all ten persons. They were in the room.
The Proctor. What sort of room was it?
Witness. A large room similar to many in Anatolia.
The Proctor. Where were the horses?
Witness. In the stables.
The witness Minasse was brought into court. This witness was also unacquainted with the Turkish and spoke through an interpreter.
The Proctor. Your name?
Witness. Minasse, son of Melkon.
The Proctor. Your native country?
The Proctor. What age are you?
Witness. I do not know.
The Proctor. Do you know Garabet?
After taking the oath the witness deposed: Moussa Bey entered the house, bound Garabet and his father. He took £t.20 from them and then went away.
The Proctor. Were you alone?
Witness. I was alone. There were also Ohannes and Garabet.
The Proctor. Who was with Moussa Bey?
Witness. There was Moussa Bey, Eumer Bey, and others.
The Proctor. What time was it?
Witness. The time to go to bed.
The Proctor. Were they on horseback?
The Proctor. How many horses were there?
Witness. Four or five.
The Proctor. Where were they?
Witness. I held the horses and led them in.
The Proctor. Who was bound first?
Witness. Garabet, and then Ohannes.
The Proctor. Who went to fetch the money?
Witness. The mother and the wife of Garabet. They went to fetch it from the village of Vartèrès.
The Proctor. Who else came in the house?
Witness. Nobody else.
The Proctor. In what coin was the money?
Witness. There were gold and silver coins.
The Proctor. What is the distance between the village of Ardouk and that of Vartèrès.
Witness. Between 2 minutes and half an hour. (Witness seemed not to fully realize the value of his words.) What do I know. The villages in our country are close to each other.
The Proctor. When was Garabet unbound?[Page 730]
Witness. He gave the money and was then unbound.
The Proctor. Who was unbound first?
Witness. The father, then the son.
The Proctor. Why did they give this money?
The President. Was there an agreement or partnership between them?
The Proctor. Witness declared on examination that there were 15 persons.
Witness. I said that there were in all 15 persons.
The Proctor. Was Kevork present when the father and the son were there?
Witness. Kevork arrived on the spot at the moment when the money was being handed. He saw they were bound.
The Proctor. How could he be present at this scene when, as he says, he held the horses?
Witness. I put the horses in and then returned.
The Clerk. Witness declared on the examination that the incident occurred in the daytime.
Witness. I said that it was during the night.
The next witness, the woman Koumash, was called. She wore a yashmak. She took her seat in the witness box, and, as on the first occasion, seemed completely prostrated.
The clerk read the report of the chambre des mises en accusations and the act of accusation, which the proctor then proceeded to develop and explain. According to these documents, Moussa is accused of murdering the miller Malkhass, of the village of Ardouk.
Questioned by the president as to this accusation, Moussa Bey formally denied having committed the murder.
Two Armenian priests, witnesses in this affair, did not appear, although the proctor stated they had been summoned by the court.
Simon Effendi replied that these two priests could not appear in the court without the authorization of the patriarchate; they have been reprimanded for signing the summons, taking the oath, and giving evidence without the permission of the patriarch. Therefore the patriarch should be requested to allow them to appear in court.
The proctor replied that nobody should disobey the law, and that all are equal before it; he asked, therefore, that the usual fine be inflicted on the two priests.
No decision in this matter was, however, taken by the court.
The president hereupon closed the proceedings, declaring that the next sitting will be held on Thursday.
The third sitting in the trial of Moussa Bey was held on Thursday, in the criminal court of Stamboul, Vassif Effendi presiding. The court was constituted as on Tuesday. Behind the judges were seated General of Division Tevfik Pasha, ex-minister of Turkey at Washington and aid-de-camp of the Sultan, Lieut. Col. Ahmed Bey, aid-de-camp of the Sultan, and dragomans of several of the foreign missions. The crush for seats in the court was terrible, and long before the president took his seat on the bench not even standing room remained from one end of the court to the other. Shortly before the entrance of the judges Moussa Bey was led in by two zaptiehs and placed in the dock, his counsel Izzet Bey and Mehmed Ali Bey being seated near. Garabet and the widow Koumash were also present with their counsel, Simon Effendi Tinghir.
The president asked for the priest Gaspar to be called in reference to the assassination of Malkhass. Witness not understanding Turkish, a dragoman was obtained. Gaspar said he was 42 years of age; he came from Ardouk and that he officiated at the church of that village. On being requested to take the oath, Gaspar said that his priestly office forbade him to do so. The procuror-general and Izzet Bey here intervened and protested against witness being allowed to give evidence unsworn.
The President. We can hear his evidence as instruction.
The Proctor. I oppose it. The oath is obligatory, and, if witness refuses to take it, I demand the application of clause 284 of the criminal code.
The president having explained to witness, called upon him to take the oath.
Witness. The Bible forbids us to swear, but if the Sultan orders me to do it, I will obey.
The President. The law is the order of the Sultan.
Witness thereupon took the oath and deposed as follows: It was 11 o’clock (Turkish) in the evening, and I went to borrow 5 piasters from priest Témèdre. He was not in his harman, but in his house. I saw Moussa Bey; he fired, and I saw a man fall; this man was accompanied by some other persons. Moussa Bey said, “Silence!” The villagers came and took the wounded man; they conveyed him to his home; he died an hour after; Moussa Bey remained that night in the village. In [Page 731] the morning he ordered us to bury the dead, and threatened to make us repent if we refused to comply with his orders. Two days later the authorities were informed of the event. I did not follow the peasants who carried the wounded man to his house.
The Proctor. In what part of the body was the man wounded?
Witness (indicating the right thigh). Here. But I did not see the wound; I did not look when I was at the deceased’s house.
The Proctor. What year did the event occur?
Witness. About 2½ years or 2 years and 8 months ago. It was in winter. The ground was covered with snow.
The Proctor. In the examination the witness said the contrary.
Witness. No; I said that the fields were covered with snow.
The Proctor. Was the sky covered with clouds?
Witness. I do not know now, so much time has passed since.
Mehmed Ali Bey then put some questions to the witness.
Witness. We did not inform the authorities. They learnt the event later on. I married the son of Malkhass with a girl whom Moussa Bey gave to him.
Mehmed Ali Bey. What is the name of the girl?
Witness. I do not know it. It is so long ago. I have forgotten.
Witness (in reply to the proctor). In winter and in summer the place used to thrash the wheat and barley is called harman.
The Proctor. Why did he go to the harman?
Witness. I went to the harman of Father Témèdre to borrow 5 piasters from him.
The Proctor. What was the distance between the place where Moussa Bey was and that where Malkhass was?
Witness. It was far; I can not fix it in hours.
The Proctor. We do not ask you to fix it in hours; we ask you the distance that there was between the spot where Moussa Bey was and that where Malkhass fell.
Witness. Four minutes, perhaps; I can not say precisely. I could see the men, but I could not distinguish Malkhass.
The Proctor. Who were the persons who accompanied Malkhass?
Witness. I do not know. I did not ask.
The Proctor. Did Moussa Bey arrive on the spot before or after them?
Witness. He came after us, and he went on to a hollow part of the way.
The proctor put some questions regarding the position of the hollow ground.
Izzet Bey also questioned the witness on the same subject.
Witness. It was a little hollow. It was as far as from here to there [he tried to explain by signs].
The Proctor. What depth?
Witness. About one pick.
The proctor repeated a former question.
Witness. The hollow was not far from the harman; we were in the harman and not in the barn with the straw.
The Proctor. Was the harman before or behind the barn?
The President. Was the door of the barn before the harman?
Witness. There were two barns [he again tried to explain by signs].
The Proctor. It is impossible to understand.
The President. On what side was the door?
Witness, words apparently failing him, again had recourse to signs to explain, but did not succeed in making himself understood.
Izzet Bey. Before which barn was he standing; on the right or the left?
The Proctor. To whom did these barns belong; to two different persons?
Witness. To one person.
Izzet Bey. Before whose barn was he?
Witness. I was before that of the priest.
The Proctor. The priest from whom you asked 5 piasters?
Witness. Yes, Témèdre.
Izzet Bey questioned the witness with regard to the position of the doors.
Witness. I can not recollect on what sides the doors were.
Izzet Bey continued to question the witness. Was the village far from the spot where Malkhass fell?
Witness. A little.
Izzet Bey. How many priests are there in the village?
Witness. Four. I, Témèdre, Gabriel, and Matheos, who is old.
Izzet Bey. Who are the priests who assisted at the funeral of Malkhass?
Witness. All the priests of the village.
Izzet Bey asked where the wound was, upon which the witness pointed to his thigh. Izzet Bey further asked who paid the expenses of witness’s journey.
Witness. The woman Koumash.
Izzet Bey. Who informed the villagers of the crime?
Witness. They heard of it and came to the spot.[Page 732]
Mehmed Ali Bey wished to know if witness saw the wound.
Izzet Bey. When did the funeral take place?
Witness. In the morning of the next day.
Questioned by the proctor, witness declared that he had been called by Moussa Bey, who ordered him to bury Malkhass.
The proctor drew attention to certain contradictions in the declarations of the witness.
Izzet Bey. In what room of the house was deceased placed? Did he not name his murderer before dying?
Witness. He could not speak.
The Proctor. Where was he placed—on a sofa?
Witness. On a piece of felt; there are no sofas in our home.
The witness was hereupon dismissed. In reply to the question of the president Moussa Bey said: I did not commit the murder. It was impossible to take aim; the snow is deep in our country, and in the dip of the road one could not see a man at that distance. One could not rest a gun on the snow. I do not accept the testimony of that man; he is related to Malkhass. How could I stay the night in the village if” I had killed Malkhass? Being mudir, I could not commit the crime, and I would have prevented another from doing so. No more could I hinder the people giving notice to the authorities. The deceased’s son is a major, and he could have taken proceedings against me had I killed his father. I do not make these denials to obtain my release from prison; the state prisons are better than my own konak. I protest against the evidence of that man.
The Procuror. He owns to having been on the spot.
Prisoner. I saw neither the deceased nor his funeral.
The Proctor. How did that happen? He was present, yet he saw neither the deceased nor his funeral.
Prisoner. I was there, but I saw no such things.
The Proctor. Oussep, son of Malkhass, declared that his father had been wounded; they made inquiries and found that he had been wounded by Moussa. Gabriel and Oussep declared that Moussa was there the day that Malkhass was wounded.
Prisoner. I do not know. They also go hunting, but I did not see them. It was not till 3 months afterwards they said that I had killed Malkhass. They came to ask my authority for Oussep’s marriage, and I gave it and was even present at the wedding. Such things are customary with us.
The Proctor. When?
Moussa Bey. Three years ago. Justice is equal for all. I am a prisoner; these witnesses are free. A number of Armenians, of whom some are prosecutors and others witnesses, signed a petition at Moush against me; I do not accept their evidence.
The priest Témèdre was called. He had scarcely entered when he began to speak in Armenian, and asked for an interpreter, as he could not speak Turkish.
The Proctor. How was it that he made his statement in Turkish at the preliminary examination?
Witness. I could only reply by the aid of signs.
The proceedings were here interrupted by a loud cry from the body of the court, where some disturbance was going on. The president threatened to have the court cleared at once if silence were not restored.
In reply to the president witness said he was between 30 and 35 years of age.
The President. Tell us what you know against Moussa Bey. Do you promise to say the truth?
A zaptieh took the priest by the arm and pushed him towards the Bible.
Witness. Let me go. I can not take the oath.
The Proctor. The other priest has taken the oath.
The zaptieh again urged the witness forward.
Witness. Leave me alone! I am a priest. I swore once not to lie; this must be enough. I took the oath once, but I have been reprimanded by the patriarchate; I shall tell the truth.
The Proctor. If it is a sin, why did he take the oath in the examination?
The President. You must take the oath.
Witness. I can not do so without the authorization of the patriarch.
The Proctor. I ask the application of article 284 of the code of criminal procedure.
Witness. If His Imperial Majesty the Sultan orders it, I shall obey.
The President. Yes, it is the order of His Majesty.
Witness finally took the oath.
Witness. I saw the scene. I was in the harman. I had left my house, having been called by the priest Gaspar. At this moment Moussa Bey passed near us; he went into a hollow way whence he fired his gun at a man, wounding him. We [Page 733] asked ourselves: Is it a Mussulman? Is it an Armenian? An hour after the wounded man died. The body remained in the house the whole night. Next morning Moussa sent for me and with threats ordered me to bury the body without informing the authorities “If you do inform, I shall kill you,” he said. Moussa Bey said that he would be like a father to Oussep; would take care of him and would marry him if no complaint were made. Some days after the authorities heard of the event and summoned Oussep. Mouesa Bey heard of this and proceeded to Moush at the same time as the son of Malkhass.
The Proctor. Was there much snow?
Witness. Yes; but not much in the hollow way, which was trodden.
The Proctor. What thickness was it?
Witness. I do not know. I did not measure it.
The Proctor. Who came from the village?
Witness. What do I know? The villagers.
The Proctor. How many houses are there in the village?
The Proctor. Where did Moussa remain?
Witness. In the room of Mardiros.
The Proctor. Where did he sleep? In a bed?
Witness. On the floor; there are no beds in our country.
The Proctor. Did you see the wound of Malkhass?
Witness. I saw it; it was here [pointing in the direction of the right groin]. I saw it with my eyes.
The Proctor. Did the priest Gaspar see it too?
Witness. I do not know. I met the priest Gaspar at Malkhass’s house. I saw the wound.
The Proctor. In what leg?
Witness. Here [showing as before].
The Proctor. On the right or on the left?
Witness. How do you call this side?
The Proctor. The right side. Did he go with Gaspar to Mardiros’s?
Witness. I can not tell. I have forgotten it.
The proctor called attention to certain contradictions.
Izzet Bey wished to know how the villagers heard of the affair.
Witness. They were on their roof.
Izzet Bey. How? In the middle of winter they were on their roof?
Witness. Roof (dam) with us signifies house.
The proctor and Izzet Bey continued to question the witness.
The Proctor. What was the distance between Malkhass and the hollow distance?
Witness. From 150 to 200 paces.
The Proctor. How could you recognize him at this distance?
Witness. I did not recognize his features, as there was a mist, but I could distinguish his clothes (aba).
The Proctor. What time was it?
Witness. Eleven o’clock in the evening.
Moussa Bey. Is it possible to take aim in the mist?
The Proctor. When did Moussa Bey arrive on the spot, before or after Gaspar?
Witness. After Gaspar. He passed near us.
The Proctor. Had you then given the 5 piasters to Gaspar?
Witness. Not then. We went into the house afterwards, and there I gave him the sum.
The Proctor. Did you not go to see who had fallen?
Witness. No; of what use could it be? What could we do?
The Proctor. What was the name of the girl?
Witness. I do not know. Her master is here [pointing to Moussa Bey]; let him tell himself.
The Proctor. Were you present in the church at the marriage?
The Proctor. What is the name of the girl?
Witness. I do not know. I did not ask.
The Proctor. Did Moussa Bey speak to them?
Witness. No; he passed before us, directing his steps towards the hollow grounds. He aimed and fired.
The Proctor. What was the distance between you and the hollow ground?
Witness. Five paces.
The proctor remarked that it was astonishing that they should have seen a man fall hit by a shot, should not have approached him, and should have quietly returned to the house, the one to give and the other to receive 5 piasters.
The two witnesses could not tell what the two persons did who accompanied Malkhass. The sitting was here suspended for luncheon.[Page 734]
The court resumed at half-past 2, when the witness, in reply to questions from the proctor, gave a description of the places: “We were in the midst of the harman; Moussa Bey passed by; he went to where the road dips, which was about 5 paces distant; we started to follow but he fired and killed somebody.”
The proctor-general called attention to contradictions between the statements made at the preliminary examination and those made before the court. He then asked the witness if he had a suspicion.
Witness. No; we asked ourselves what he was doing, as there is no game there.
The Proctor. How many times were you called to Mardiros’s house?
Witness. Once or twice.
The Proctor. To Malkhass’s?
Witness. Twice; the second time with Oussep and some villagers.
The Proctor. Were there many people with Moussa Bey?
Witness. Many; wherever Moussa went they pressed round him.
The Proctor. Whom did Moussa Bey send in search of you?
Witness. A villager.
Proctor. What was his name?
Witness. I do not know.
Moussa Bey. That man is a liar; he began by saying that he did not know Turkish, nevertheless he expresses himself in that language.
He has taken the oath and seeks in that way to deceive the prophet. If you wish, keep me for 4 years, but I declare that I did not fire the gun. Death is natural; they die everywhere, and Malkhass did so. I had no hand in his death.
Proctor. Was Malkhass your relative?
Proctor. Is Gabriel?
Proctor. What was he doing at Malkhass’s house?
Witness. He cried.
Proctor. Did he bring any complaint?
Witness. I do not know.
Proctor. What is the relationship between Gabriel and Malkhass?
Witness. Maternal cousin.
The clerk of the court then read the procès verbaux of the depositions made by Oussep, son of the deceased. He declared the first time that his father died a natural death, and that he made no charge against Moussa Bey, although some villagers accused the latter of assassinating his father. Three months after the death he deposed that his father died after 14 days from the effects of a malady with which he was afflicted, being old, 60 years. At Moush some Armenians urged him (Oussep) to take proceedings against Moussa Bey; his father, he said, died without any trace of wound, and he could not offend God by gratuitously accusing Moussa. In another deposition Oussep said: “My father died after 15 days’ suffering. He had a bullet wound in the right leg. He was not examined by a doctor; he also had the fever; I do not know if he died from the fever or from the wound. He returned wounded, but he did not say who did it, and I did not ask the question. Moussa Bey and some Kurds were then in the village, but I do not know who fired. We did not report the death to the authorities. I do not suspect anybody.”
The Proctor. In all the depositions Moussa Bey is declared to have been there.
Moussa Bey. I saw nobody. I did not see anything. I do not know.
Simon Effendi proposed the court should examine the widow Koumash. The widow accordingly was called and stood beside Simon Effendi, taking the place of Garabet, who passed behind. Witness said her name was Koumash; she did not know her age; it was about 30 years. She was a native of Ardouk and Malkhass was her husband. She was then asked to state what she saw.
The Witness. My husband left in the morning safe and sound and was brought back wounded.
The Proctor. Who wounded him?
Witness. I do not know. In my sorrow I did not think to ask him. Besides, he was in a dying condition and could not speak.
Proctor. When did he die?
Witness. In the evening.
Proctor. Did you not advise the neighbors?
Witness. No; I told nobody. The next day Moussa Bey had him buried.
Izzet Bey (vehemently). I notice that Garabet is whistling behind the widow Koumash. I protest against this. [The witness was brought further forward.]
The Proctor. Why did you not speak of your husband’s death?
Witness. Moussa Bey threatened us with death if we spoke of it.
Proctor. You did not speak of it to the neighbors on the night it occurred?
Witness. What could the neighbors do? In the morning Moussa Bey brought some priests and had the body buried.[Page 735]
The Proctor. How did he know that your husband was dead?
Witness. He was in the village; he had killed him. It was the priest who came and told us.
The Proctor. Did Moussa Bey enter your home?
Witness. No; he remained at the door.
The proctor-general drew attention to some discrepancies between the depositions made by the woman Koumash in the preliminary examination and in her evidence before the court.
Witness. I do not know; my sorrow must have affected my memory. Moreover, I have been suffering since my arrival in Constantinople. My husband left the house in the morning hale and sound. In the evening he was brought dying to the house.
The Proctor. At Moush, Moussa is said to have promised to the woman Koumash to marry her son.
Witness. I have not been at Moush; it is my son who was there.
The Proctor. Was there a quarrel between Moussa Bey and Malkhass?
The court here questioned Garabet.
The Proctor. What did Moussa Bey do to you?
Witness. He bound me and my father; he took my money, burnt my shop, my barn with straw, my fields, pierced the wall of my house. He says he was mudir at that time. Let him say when he was mudir. When were you mudir?
The court rose at 10 minutes past 3, the next sitting being fixed for to-day.
The trial of Moussa Bey was resumed on Saturday last in the criminal court of Stam-boul. The throng of people eagerly waiting for the doors to open was much greater than on any of the previous occasions, so that some crushing occurred when the door was opened, especially as only one-half was thrown open. People rushed in with irresistible force, and, though there was a much larger number of zaptiehs in attendance than before, and these brought their fists into play upon the shoulders and backs of the people, yet it was with great difficulty that accidents were avoided. Several persons received slight injuries. Thanks to the courtesy of Artin Effendi Mostidjian, judge, the representatives of the press were admitted before the general public.
Moussa Bey entered at 27 minutes past 7. The prosecutors, Garabet and the woman Koumash, appeared immediately after. All the witnesses who have hitherto appeared were also present. After a short conversation with Mehmed Ali Bey, Moussa left the court, but returned shortly after. The court made its entrance at three-quarters past 7. It was composed as on the previous occasion, excepting that Salih Effendi, judge at the court of appeal, replaced Tahsin Effendi.
The proctor-general now arose and addressed the court. He spoke at great length and not without eloquence of the part that justice plays in the world, of the duties of the proctor-general, who can not imitate the counsel; his duty is to safeguard the general interest, which goes before the private interest. He pointed out the contradictions in the declarations made by the several witnesses at different epochs. He mentioned these contradictions one by one and concluded with the assertion that these individuals were certainly perjured witnesses. He therefore asked the court to apply to them the penalties provided in article 281 of the penal code.
The proctor spoke for 50 minutes. On his request that the proceedings should be interrupted for some minutes the court withdrew.
The court returned at three-quarters past 8. The president asked the proctor if he had anything to add to what he had said. Halid Bey replied that he had nothing further to say, except to request the court to take his demand against the witness into immediate consideration.
To this Simon Effendi Tinghir, counsel for the prosecution, objected, respectfully remarking that the matter must await the decision of the court on the trial of prisoner, and that consequently the question of perjury could not be entertained now. Simon Effendi Tinghir then addressed the court. In the preamble he exalted in eloquent terms the administration of justice under the Government of the Sultan. He then sought to establish the right of his clients to prosecute. As regards the contradictions, he said that it was not to be wondered at if certain discrepancies are met with in the depositions of simple and ignorant men, who only with difficulty convey to others what they mean. He concluded by requesting the court to pronounce Moussa Bey guilty.
After Simon Bey had resumed his seat, Izzet Bey, one of the counsel for the defense read a lengthy and eloquent speech. He spoke in eulogistic terms of the Sultan, and remarked that as calumnies had been circulated against his client, which had been echoed by the foreign press and had occupied public opinion, and as thereby a totally different color had been given to the affair, he had long been desirous of undertaking the defense of Moussa Bey. My client,” he paid, “is the scion of a noble family [Page 736] established for 300 to 400 years, and being rich he had no occasion to commit the robberies and the other crimes imputed to him. Therefore, in order to vindicate his honor, Moussa Bey had come to Constantinople to appear before the courts.” Izzet Bey then dealt with the evidence in detail, and sought to refute separately the allegations of the witnesses against the prisoner. He pointed to a large number of contradictions, and declared that the depositions of the witnesses were pure fabrications. He therefore asked the court to acquit Moussa.
Hereupon the court rose, the next sitting being fixed for to-day, Monday.
The fifth and last sitting in the trial of Moussa Bey took place yesterday in the criminal court of Stamboul. The anticipation that judgment would be delivered attracted even larger crowds than before, and the court was literally packed with persons eager to boar the final result of this cause célèbre, which has occupied public attention so much.
The judges took their seats at 5 minutes past 7. Mehmed Ali Bey, one of Moussa’s counsel, at once rose and read a lengthy speech on behalf of prisoner. After a long preamble, he declared that malevolent people had in vain tried to represent his client as an obnoxious being, as a savage. “No,” he said, “Moussa Bey is a civilized man with a generous heart. Four years ago he was appointed mudir of his nahié, and he fulfilled his duties as a public functionary loyally. Moussa Bey has drawn upon himself the enmity of the Armenians owing to an affair in which a married priest (a semi-clergyman, as Mehmed Ali said) was engaged. The gratuitous accusations which have been showered on Moussa Bey have found an echo in the foreign press. There are four counts in the accusation. They are all pure fabrications, as I will prove to your satisfaction. The witnesses are indigent people, who have been staying in Constantinople without work for a long time; they were sent here to accuse a man, a valiant soldier, who has fought for the defense of his country.” The learned counsel then entered into a detailed refutation of the depositions of the several witnesses, which he characterized as contradictory and mendacious. Moussa Bey showed evipent signs of weariness and whimpered to Izzet Bey that this long discourse was superfluous, as the arguments had already been presented by Izzet Bey. Finally, unable to control his impatience, the prisoner interrupted Mehmed Ali Bey by asking the president for permission to speak. Mehmed Ali Bey remarked that his client could speak after he (Mehmed Ali Bey) had finished his speech, and quietly continued. At 5 minutes to 8 the lawyer begged the court to grant him a few moments rest. The sitting was accordingly suspended.
At 8.25 the judges returned, and Mehmed Ali Bey resumed the reading of the speech. Here another incident occurred. Izzet Bey made an attempt to seize some of the manuscripts lying on the table of his brother counsel. The latter, however, perceived the intention, and by a quick movement secured the papers. Moussa Bey smiled good humoredly at this by-play. Shortly after he again interrupted his counsel, expressing a desire to speak. Mehmed Ali Bey protested that his speech was drawing to a close, and asked to be allowed to finish it without interruption. At 9 o’clock the counsel concluded, with a demand for the acquittal, pure and simple, of his client. He had spoken for an hour and a half.
Moussa Bey now addressed the court. He deprecated the lengthy pleading of his counsel; there was no necessity to repeat all these things. “The trial has now been going on a week. All who have attended the proceedings must know on what side the right is. If people have not been convinced, all the repetitions imaginable will not make them comprehend. It is not necessary to declare here that I spring from a noble family; we are all the servants of God and equal before the law. You judges of this tribunal are wise men, appointed for that reason by the Government. You have heard me, and you have heard the witnesses for the prosecution. It now remains for you to pronounce the sentence to which I shall submit.”
Garabet, one of the witnesses, rose to his feet and addressing the court said: “We are told that a lord (effendi) like the accused, can not have committed the misdeeds with which he is charged, and yet he has impoverished us, ruined our homes, set fire to our houses, and pillaged us, and he declares here that all this is not true.”
The President. What more?
Garabet. Everywhere in our country, in a thousand places, the traces of his crimes and his misdeeds are to be seen.
Izzet Bey rose and protested against the declarations of Garabet, as they were beside the question.
Garabet. I have the right to defend my interests. If Moussa were not culpable why did he not come of his own accord to defend himself during the 2 years we have been prosecuting him?
Mehmed Ali Bey. We ask for damages.[Page 737]
In saying this he presented a document to the usher of the court.
Garabet. Since he has come to Constantinople we hear no more of crimes in our country, where all the people live like brethren.
Moussa Bey. It is not proper to praise oneself, but, as he asks why I did not appear before the authorities to defend myself, I may here remark that I remained 1 year at Bitlis and 2 years at Moush, in the governorship of Salih Pasha and Nazif Pasha. He says that I am now considered a civilized man, because I have discarded my native dress and wear a fez; thus, according to him, all those who do not wear a fez are savages. The Persians are therefore savages because they wear a pointed cap, and the English because they wear a hat. Whoever does not wear a fez is not a man. Everybody, of course, wears the costume of his native country.
Simon Effendi then rose to address the court. It was not his intention, he said, to refute the arguments of Mehmed Ali Bey, as they are a repetition of those of Izzet Bey. He only wished for a reply to the questions he had asked, and which had not been solved. “Among other things, I asked whether the judgment of the court could be based on the reports of Ibrahim Bey at Moush and on the procès verbaux of the depositions made at Moush. I also asked whether the contradictions which have been noticed in the depositions of the witnesses for the prosecution bear upon details or the main facts of the case. As regards the two first questions, I declare that the documents therein mentioned can not have any value, as, on application made by the accused to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, the case has been sent for judgment here. As regards the last question, I maintain that the contradictions spoken of have regard only to details and not to the main facts of the case. Moreover, how can you expect strict accuracy from ignorant people of the lower class, especially when the events under examination occurred 3 years ago?” Simon Effendi Tinghir, in conclusion, expressed the hope that the court would not be influenced by the statements for the defense, and asked that justice be given to his clients.
Izzet Bey, in reply, maintained his point of view regarding the reports of Ibrahim Bey and the procès verbaux signed by the accusers at Moush. “As to the depositions of the witness, it was evident,” he said, “that they were not in agreement regarding either main facts or details. It is perhaps insinuated that as the witnesses are ignorant people their errors must be pardoned, but that is inadmissible. Supposing that the seraskierate is described to a man, he would perhaps forget it some time after and be unable to describe its appearance; but if he had seen the seraskierate with his own eyes he could not forget, even after 20 years. Therefore, the argument with regard to the ignorance of the witnesses can not be admitted.”
After some remarks from the proctor-general, and some further remarks from Izzet Bey, the president announced the proceedings closed, and the court withdrew for the purpose of deliberating. Exactly an hour later the judges returned and took their seats in the tribunal. The president rose, and, addressing the prisoner, called upon him to hear the following judgment, which was read by the clerk of the court:
“Whereas the evidence given concerning the crimes imputed to Moussa Bey is contradictory, and consequently is insufficient to warrant the conviction of the accused; and whereas a majority of votes of the judges has not been given against the accused on the count of arson and other Grimes included in the charge, or the majority of two-thirds required to convict on the charge of assassination of Malkhass, the court acquits Moussa Bey, and orders that he be set at liberty, unless he is under arrest for other matters.”
Said Pasha to Mr. King.
Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: I have received the note you kindly addressed to me on the 7th of October last, No. 8, relating to the matter of Rev. Mr. Knapp and Dr. Raynolds.
My colleague of the department of justice, to whom I had communicated this note, informs me, in reply, that it appears from the correspondence formerly exchanged on this subject with the local judiciary authorities, and of which notice had been given in time to the legation of the United States, that the greater part of the articles taken from Messrs. Knapp and Raynolds were restored to them, and that Moussa Bey and the other individuals who had been arrested under the accusation of having committed that misdeed have then been released on an order of “no case,” issued by the chambre des mises en accusation, which could not discover any charge against them.
His Excellency Djevded Pasha adds then that no suit can any longer be brought on that head against Moussa Bey.
Mr. King to Said Pasha.
Constantinople , December 18, 1889.
Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note of 10th instant in reply to mine of October 7 last, regarding the attack of Moussa Bey on two American citizens, Messrs. Knapp and Raynolds.
It is true that His Highness Airifi Pasha informed Mr. Wallace, January 28, 1884, that Moussa Bey had been released, but his statement that “Dr. Knapp had no grievance against Moussa Bey” is the exact contrary of what has been repeatedly stated to the Sublime Porte, namely, that when Mr. Knapp was confronted with several persons he picked out Moussa Bey as the man who cut Dr. Raynolds with a sword, and, as stated in my note of October 7 last, the identification of Moussa Bey is regarded by my Government as complete, and on that ground his punishment asked for.
In 1884, Mr. Knapp was in Constantinople and went with Mr. Gargiulo, the dragoman of this legation, to see His Excellency the minister of justice, and told him that he had identified Moussa Bey.
Not only was this the view taken by my Government, but His Excellency Assim Pasha, in a note to Mr. Wallace, January 12, 1885, admitted that “the inquest made by the ministry of justice had revealed certain irregularities committed by the examining magistrate and the deputy imperial prosecutor, and that these two magistrates had been put under judgment.”
And again, His Excellency Assim Pasha (see note to Mr. Wallace April 6, 1885) stated that, while not consenting to a pecuniary indemnity, “it is lawful for the persons interested to bring suit against the magistrates for prejudice to their cases by reason of irregularities in the proceedings.”
And Your Excellency, in your note to Mr. Cox (December 12, 1885, and compare note February 16, 1886), stated that you had insisted on a “new and conscientious examination of the affair.”
In view of the actual facts in the case, and the admission of the Sublime Porte itself, I am astonished to learn that His Excellency the minister of justice should state that no suit can any longer be brought against Moussa Bey for this murderous attack, because (as he says) “when formerly arrested no case was found against him.”
Permit me to say that the point at issue is not to be settled by statements about the articles or property taken from Messrs. Knapp and Raynolds, to which I did not even allude in my note of October 7 last. Your Excellency will therefore allow me to repeat and to emphasize the request of my Government that Moussa Bey be duly punished for this crime.