Menten Defense Gains Point; Prosecutor Unimpressed

The defense gained a paint in the second trial of accused Nazi war criminal Pieter Menten in a Ratterdam district court yesterday. But the prosecution is sticking to its demand for a conviction and a stiff sentence for the 81-year-old millionaire Dutch art dealer who served with the Nazi SS during World War II.

Menten is charged with participation in the mass murders of Jews and others in the village of Podhorodz in the eastern Galicia district of Poland under German occupation in 1941. At the insistence of his defense lawyer, the court sent an expert, Willem Veder, professor of Slavonic languages at the University of Nijmegen, to Moscow to study the archives of the Soviet War crimes Commission. Veder reported yesterday that he was unable to find any reference in the archives to the slaughter in Podhorodz or any mention of Menten by name.

The records are based on the interrogations of local people by the Soviet authorities after the Red Army liberated the region in 1944. But Veder told the court that the investigations by the Soviet War Crimes Commission at that time were not always thorough. The prosecutor declared that the results of Veder’s investigation would not change a single word of his demand that the court impose a 20-year prison sentence on Menten. The verdict is expected an July 10.

BEMINDER: There will be no Daily News Bulletin dated Friday, July 4 because of Independence Day, a postal holiday.

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