Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Menten Trial Delayed

June 5, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The second trial of alleged Nazi war criminal Pieter Menten will be interrupted while an expert goes to the Soviet Union to search for additional evidence. The Rotterdam district court, where the trial opened last month, agreed today to a request by defense attorney Eduard de Liagre Boehl to have the War Crimes Archives in Moscow examined to see if they contain material to substantiate Menten’s claim that he was not involved in the crimes with which he is charged.

The court selected Willem R. Veder, a professor of Slavonic languages at the University of Nijmegen, to visit the archives and submit his report by June 20. Veder served as interpreter at Menten’s first trial in Amsterdam and in the same capacity at the current one. He is thoroughly familiar with the case. The court said that the trial would not be unduly delayed by the interruption.

Boehl originally asked that a three-man inquiry commission be sent to the USSR. This might have suspended the proceedings for 2-3 months while the Dutch request for the commission to be admitted to the Soviet Union made its way through diplomatic channels. It was seen as a deliberate delaying tactic by the defense.

Recommended from JTA