AMSTERDAM (Jun. 6)
A government appointed commission investigating official policy between 1945-1976 with respect the prosecution of convicted Nazi war criminal Pieter Menten will publish an interim report before the end of this month, it was announced today. The decision to release an interim report was accessioned by the Dutch Supreme Court’s ruling last week setting aside Menten’s conviction by an Amsterdam district court and ordering a new trial for the millionaire art dealer. He had been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
The commission was established in January, 1977 following a Parliamentary debate on the Menten affair. It is headed by Prof. lvo Schoeffer of Leyden. The commission concerned itself with a number of the technicalities that led to the Supreme Court’s decision and wants its conclusions published as soon as possible.
Menten’s crimes included complicity in the murders of Jews and others when he served as an SS officer in the Lemberg region of Poland during World War II. He was not brought to justice until the summer of 1976, after a Dutch journalist published an expose of his deeds on the basis of information obtained from Israeli sources. This led to the belief that Menten enjoyed protection in very high circles in the immediate post-war period.