Wenceslao Emilio Retana is well known to Philippine readers as the author of the biography of Rizal which has best stood the test of time. In 1905 he obtained permission to transcribe the official documents of Rizal’s trial. The file was sent for them from the Segovia Archives and the Undersecretary of War, Don Julio Domingo Bazán, allowed Retana to copy it out long-hand at the Ministry.
This edition reproduces Retana’s transcription as it stands, with a few minor modifications. No attempt is made to evaluate the legality or justice of the proceedings to which these documents bear witness. Someday, perhaps, someone both learned in the law and familiar with Rizal’s tragic history will undertake such an evaluation. Meanwhile, it seems fitting to let the record speak for itself. - Excerpts from Foreword by H. de la Costa, S.J. The Trial of Rizal was originally published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press in 1961.