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Dutch journalists on trial in Germany for breach of privacy laws

Two Dutch journalists from the TV current affairs programme Een Vandaag will stand trial in the German town of Eschweiler for breaching German privacy laws. In 2009, Jan Ponsen and Jelle Visser filmed an interview with former Dutch Nazi Heinrich Boere with a hidden camera while he was staying at a nursing home in Eschweiler.

The trial date has been set for 9 February. If convicted, the two reporters face a maximum of three years in prison. The website of Een Vandaag says they expect Ponsen and Visser will be found guilty of the charges.

The site explains that Boere’s lawyer cancelled an interview appointment which Een Vandaag made after it became known that Boere was to stand trial in Germany for crimes committed during the Second World War.

The reporters then went to Eschweiler with a hidden camera. A report on the Een Vandaag website, which was broadcast in the TV programme in 2009, shows Boera first behaving in a hostile way towards the journalists, but then gradually becoming friendlier. He talked about his dogs but brushed off any questions about his involvement in Nazi crimes.

Families of the victims had made several attempts to contact the former SS member, but had never received any correspondence from Boere, says Een Vandaag.

Boere first filed a complaint in 2010 with the Netherlands Press Council, which ruled in favour of the reporters. The council said the two had not behaved dishonourably.

Source: RNW