TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1055 BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS PAGE SEVEN Government Outsmarted Itself In Provoo Case; Court Frees Him By JAMES MARLOW Associated Press News Analyst WASHINGTON (AP) — John David Provoo, once found guilty.of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment, has beaten the rap because the government outsmarted itself and kept lum in custody too long before trying him. e Court decision yester- prisoner three years before bring- 1C vy j . Another Mystery American Tiirns Up in Soviet Prison HEIDELBERG, Germany W) —, German-born adopted daughter of The U. S. Army checked its files yesterday for clues to another mystery American reported in a Soviet former state department employe Noel Field and wife of an American veteran. Mrs. Wallach disappeared in East Berlin in 1950. Previous returnees reported seeing four other Americans in So- dav left him free of the charges. The government reportedly spent on- million dollars trying to Convict him. One government lawyer said this was the most Important 'treason case since Aaron Bun's. Provoo's story is strange. So is the government's handling of him Provoo. a Callfornian now 38. went to japan to learn the language and study the Buddhist religion He returned home in 1941 and, a few months before war began, enlisted in the Army. He was shipped to the Philippines. Became » "Turncoat" He, was among those Americans captured by the Japanese at Corregidor. Right there, the government argued years later, Provoo became a turncoat by posing RS Buddhist priest and offering to help the Japanese. He was in a Japanese prison camp until the war ended in 1045 bu, then the Army held him a prisoner for seven months while it investigated him. Nevertheless, it honorably discharged him Aug. 17. 1946. He re-enlisted 18 days later. But In 1949 the Army again held him as a prisoner In the stockafce at Ft. Meade, Md.. awaiting court- martial on a charge of homosexuality. Then on Sept. 1, 1949. the Army transferred him to Ft. Jay. N. Y\. and the next day dishonorably discharged him. Immediately the Justice Department had the FBI srrest him on a treason charge. He was indicted on that charge by a federal grand jury in New York on Nov. 19. 1949. Prisoner Three Tears But trie government kept him Skies Clearing In Most of US By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Skies were clear over most of the flood-stricken northeast section today after several days of rain. Only a few areas reporter rain this morning. Light rain or drizzle fell In sections of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida and along the Oregon ciast. Cloudy weather prevailed over vide areas of the Great Laes region and the middle Mississippi and Ohio valleys. ing him to trial in October 1952 Some of his American fellow prisoners testiiied he had been kind. Some said he had been a vicious bully and Japanese collaborator. (The defense argued that Provoo had used his knowledge of Japanese to ease the lot of fellow prisoners and to this end might have curried favor with his captors. Any propaganda help that he might have given tho Japanese was defended as forced under pain of punishmen' or even death.) On Feb. 11. 1953. a jury found him guilty of treason, specifically f. aiding the Japanese with propaganda broadcasts and being partly responsible for the execution of an American Army captain, Burton C. Thompson, by informing on mm to tho Japanese. The Judge gave Pro voo a life sentence. Provoo's court-appointed lawyers fought the guilty verdict and won On Aug. 7. 1954, a federal appellate court in New York overturned the verdict by ruling Provoo should have been tried for treason in Maryland, where he had been In the Army, Instead of in New York. All Arranged Why had the Army on Sept. 1 suddenly transferred him to New York to discharge him? And how come the Justice Department was right there to grab him on a treason charge? A government lawyer later testified, in effect, that this was all arranged between the Justice Department and the Army because Army wanted to get rid of him and the Justice Department lawyers thought they had a better chance of convicting him in New York. He said one of the Maryland federal judges had shown antagonism to th« Justice Department In the past. But the Justice Department wasn't ready to throw In the sponge on Provoo. It had him relndicted for treason by a federal grand jury In Maryland. He was to have been brought to trial last March 14. Before trial could begin his lawyers argued: Provoo's constitutional rights had been violated by the government in holding him so long before bringing him to trial, so there should be no trial. The Constitution's Sixth Amendment promises every accused person the right to a "speedy and public trial." The federal judge, Roszel C. Thomsen, agreed and ordered Provoo released. The Justice Department appealed] ^ to the Supreme Court to reverse. prison camp. Army headquarters here snid it had no record of Lt. Eugene Stanley Fabian. 36, of Chicago, but sue- ! viet prisons but American officials gpslcd he might have teen wit!) the j said three were not American citi- U S forces in Austria. Those rec- | zens. The fourth is a fugitive soldier, or'ds have 'been sent to Washington. ' German prisoners released from o e preme o , f. n ,, nlori ir udge Thomsen and order Provoo Army Count.iin the Soviet Union reported that Fa- was serving in the n.elligence Corps. to trial. Yesterday the Supreme Coin". • upheld the judge. An ex-prisoner also reported hav- j timates of thi ing seen Mrs. Erika Field Wallach. j ricullure. 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