denied him a visa to enter the country last year under pressure from veterans'. But they were forced to do these things'. Last year the authorities refused to allow Ponke Princen, a Dutchman now resident in Indonesia, back into the country. Mr Hueting, who was also in court as a possible witness for the defence, says the comparison between the Nazi SS and the Dutch forces is appropriate, because 'it is a metaphor for unbelievably violent behaviour by our forces'. Official histories of the war of independence have reportedly been changed to produce a watered-down version of what really happened as the Netherlands struggled to hold on to the Dutch East Indies by keeping them divided and preventing the emergence of a single free nation. The war crimes against Indonesian villagers were committed with the direct knowledge of The Hague, at about the same time that Germany's Nazi leaders were being tried in Nuremberg.
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Mr Boomsma stands by his allegations. According to Reinier Salverda of the Department of Dutch at University College London: 'It has been said and published several times in the past in the Netherlands'. He was arrested and sent there anyway but deserted after six months and fought for Sukarno, the father of Indonesian independence. Both could be jailed for up to a year if they are found guilty on 6 June, although a fine is a more likely outcome. Mr Boomsma's troubles began when he gave an interview to a provincial newspaper in which he stated that Dutch soldiers 'were hotel motel discount coupons no SS, no, although they could certainly be compared to them because of what they did. Also charged was a journalist whose interview with the author deeply angered Dutch war veterans. It's not me who should have been accused, but the state.'. The Dutch, quick to moralise about human rights abuses by other nations, have never properly examined or debated the unpleasant history of their own experience in the colonial war. Last thursday, in a court in the northern Dutch city of Groningen, a trial took place of a sort that is only supposed to happen in despotic Third World countries.
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