MR. CHIEF JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court. . . .The petitions for habeas corpus set up that the detention of petitioner for the purpose of the trial was unlawful for reasons which are now urged as showing that the military commission was without lawful authority or jurisdiction to place petitioner on trial, as follows:
After the conclusion of hostilities between the United States and Japan, General Yamashita, who formerly had commanded a Japanese army group in the Philippines, was charged with a violation of the law of war, the essence of the charge being his failure to control the operations and conduct of troops under his command. A military commission was appointed to try Yamashita, who was defended by appointed counsel, all American army officers. After a trial that lasted from October 29 to December 7, 1945, Yamashita was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. His counsel filed an application for leave to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a writ of prohibition.
|a.||That the military commission which tried and convicted petitioner was not lawfully created, and that no military commission to try petitioner for violations of the law of war could lawfully be convened after the cessation of hostilities between the armed forces of the United States and Japan;|
|b.||That the charge preferred against petitioner fails to charge him with a violation of the law of war;|
|c.||That the commission was without authority and jurisdiction to try and convict petitioner because the order governing the procedure of the commission permitted the admission in evidence of depositions, affidavits, and hearsay and opinion evidence, and because the commission's rulings admitting such evidence were in violation of the 25th and 38th Articles of War and the Geneva Convention, and deprived petitioner of a fair trial in violation of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment;|
|d.||That the commission was without authority and jurisdiction in the premises because of the failure to give advance notice of petitioner's trial to the neutral power representing the interests of Japan as a belligerent as required by Article 60 of the Geneva Convention. . . .|
We . . . emphasized in Ex Parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, as we do here, that on application for habeas corpus we are not concerned with the guilt or innocence of the petitioners. We consider here only the lawful power of the commission to try the petitioner for the offense charged. In the present cases it must be recognized throughout that the military tribunals which Congress has sanctioned by the Articles of War are not courts whose rulings and judgments are made subject to review by this Court. See Ex parte Vallandigham, 1