Nazi war criminal Pieter Menten, convicted for supervising a mass killing of Polish Jews in 1941, was released from prison today after serving seven years of a 10-year term.
Menten, 85, a Dutch millionaire, was convicted of complicity in the killing of 20 to 30 Jews by German SS troops. He walked out of Scheveningen Prison and drove away in a rental car with his lawyer.
Police prevented reporters from following Menten's car but he was believed to have driven to the town of Blaricum, southeast of Amsterdam, where his ex-wife, Meta Pauw, has a house.
The Irish government Thursday declared the art collector, a former Nazi SS officer, an undesirable alien and banned him from entering Ireland.
The ban followed growing controversy over whether Menten should be allowed to return to his mansion, Comeragh House, set in 30 acres of wooded land in Waterford County, where he had lived between 1964 and his arrest and conviction for war crimes in 1979.
Menten's Nazi past came to light when he tried to auction off part of his art collection, some of which was alleged to have been looted from Nazi victims.
Outside the prison, Menten told reporters he might still be able to enter Ireland.
"But I also have friends in the United States," he said.