Lee served as a supervisor of the prisoners at Hintok. As a civilian hired by the Japanese military, he was lower down on the chain of command than a private. However in the trial proceedings, he had somehow been transformed into the "Camp Commandant." The reason for this was that the military prosecutors took the testimony of the prisoners at their word, without an objective investigation into the situation. Most of the Australian prisoners did not know Lee’s Japanese name. Instead, they gave the various guards nicknames, which in the case of Lee was "lizard." The origin of this name is unknown.
It is surmised that the testimonies of imprisoned officers Richard Allen and Reginald Houston played a key role, as they stated that Lee was the officer in charge of the prison labor camp. Perhaps with some unease, the prosecutor admitted there was uncertainty regarding Lee’s official position, but that in actuality he had assumed the position of officer in charge.
According to testimonies of prisoners at the time, Lee was often at odds with the Australian army surgeon and Lieutenant Colonel E. E. Dunlop as he tried to meet the demands of the Japanese engineer corps to deploy laborers. Dunlop insisted that wounded soldiers not be used. The prisoners soon developed an animosity toward those Koreans directly overseeing them. Soldier Austin Pipe recounted that "lizard" was responsible for sending prisoners to work on the railroad, and others recalled that Lee had assaulted Dunlop. But other prisoners testified that Lee was among the gentler of the guards and had not assaulted Dunlop. For example, Captain Richard Allen testified that he could not recall Dunlop ever having been attacked by Lee, and that Lee was less brutal than the other guards. However, the vast majority of the testimony was unfavorable toward Lee. In order to sort out the war criminals, Australian investigators took pictures of the prison guards and showed them to the POWs. Those suspected of war crimes were then arrested and put on trial. There were no cross-examinations. Lee admitted to slapping those who disobeyed the rules, but denied taking any other harsh measures. It was difficult to gauge just exactly how much authority was granted to the Korean youth.