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Colonial Cases

Wether, 1912



German Consular Court, Bangkok
4 June 1912
Source: The Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advertiser, 12 June 1912



   At the German Consular Court, June 4, the hearing was resumed of the case in which W. Wether is charged with defrauding a Javanese woman, whose name is given as Marie Mina, with whom he had stayed at a local hotel.  About two months ago prisoner was brought back to Bangkok from Singapore, where he had been arrested on information received from Bangkok.  He has since been in custody.

   The Consul, Baron Rudt von Collenberg, accompanied by Mr. H. Habenicht and Mr. H. Schungel as assessors, and Mr. K. Zovel as Registrar, heard the case.

   The proceedings were conducted in German.

   Prisoner first gave evidence on his own behalf, addressing the Court at length, and replying to occasional questions by the Consul.  He said that he met the complainant in the train from Kuala Lumpur.  His boy acted as interpreter, and he did not know all that was said.  Complainant spoke Malay.  She had not a thousand dollars in her possession.  He did not ask her to come to Bangkok.  She wanted to come.  He understood that complainant was the widow of a certain Dr. Day, who died in Kuala Lumpur, and left her his property.  Prisoner gave details of work he had done in various place including Colombo, Calcutta, and Singapore.

   Complainant was the next witness, Mr. Landau acting as interpreter.  She declared that a cheque for one thousand collars, which was the result of the sale of Dr. Day's property, was taken from her by prisoner at Bangkok.  She said she was born in Singapore.  When she met prisoner in the train he promised to take her to Java, and then they would go to America, where they would be married.  When they got on the boat to Bangkok she understood they were going to Java.  Complainant added prisoner took some other money of hers at Singapore and some jewellery at Bangkok.

   Mr. Prufer, of the Bristol Hotel, gave evidence to the effect that prisoner and complainant came to his hotel.  Prisoner gave the name of Eckhardt and said the woman was his wife.  They stayed for some time, and the bill was Tcs. 126, of which Tcs. 60 had been paid.

   Mr. Rosenberg, of the Europe Hotel, stated that he had known prisoner in Singapore as well as his wife, who was German, and considered him a very respectable man.  Prisoner called on him at his hotel.

   Prisoner strongly denied taking the cheque from complainant.  The only thing he had done wrong, he said, was giving a wrong name to Mr. Prufer.

   The Court decided to inflect sentence of two months imprisonment for taking money at Singapore, one month for taking the jewellery, and fourteen days for going to the Bristol Hotel when not in a position to pay for board.  Fourteen days being deducted according to German law, a month was left to be served, as prisoner had already been two months in prison.  He had the right to appeal.

   As the appeal would have to go to Germany the prisoner elected to undergo the third month's imprisonment.

   Prisoner was found not guilty with regard to the alleged cheque.



See also The Straits Times, 9 April 1912.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School