Court Decides Against Piet Menten
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Court Decides Against Piet Menten

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Piet Menten, a wealthy art collector alleged to have committed war crimes in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1941, has failed in his attempt to have a court here ban a book about him by Hans Knoop, editor of the Dutch weekly news magazine, Accent.

Menten, who is being held in a prison hospital, said the book would pronounce him guilty without a trial. But Judge W. Borgerhoff Mulder said that as a result of articles in Accent last year most Dutch people consider him guilty of war crimes and public opinion would not change whether the book was banned or not.

Menten is believed to have been involved in the massacre of Polish Jews by a German SS battalion in eastern Poland. He fled Holland last November hours before police came to his home to question him. He was extradited from Switzerland but has not been charged yet. A four-member Dutch delegation was in the Soviet Union recently to collect information. If Menten is charged he will be tried by a three-judge panel.

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