Winnipeg Free Press | 21Oct2009 | Associated Press

Germany's highest court rejects John Demjanjuk's appeals, trial on Nazi ties to begin Nov. 30, 2009

BERLIN - Germany's highest court has thrown out appeals by John Demjanjuk's lawyer and cleared the way for his trial to begin next month in Munich.

Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio auto worker, is charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 people at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, where prosecutors allege he served as a guard. His trial is due to start Nov. 30, 2009.

Germany's Federal constitutional Court said Wednesday that judges decided unanimously last week to reject complaints from Demjanjuk's lawyer, Ulrich Busch, about decisions to begin the trial and to keep the Demjanjuk in custody. It said that the ruling cannot be appealed.

In his complaints, Busch cited the 89-year-old Demjanjuk's health concerns, among other issues.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was flown to Germany from the United States in May after losing a long battle to avoid deportation. He has been in custody since.

He maintains that he was a Red Army soldier who was held as a prisoner of war and never hurt anyone.

The charges were filed in July after doctors determined that Demjanjuk was fit to stand trial as long as court hearings do not exceed two 90-minute sessions per day. They carry a possible maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Among the documents obtained by Munich prosecutors is an SS identity card that features a photo of a young, round-faced Demjanjuk along with his height and weight, and that says he worked at Sobibor. [W.Z. This is the famous Trawniki ID card -- the signature on which was declared to be a forgery by Julius Grant and has never been validated by any expert witness.]

Kyiv Post | 21Oct2009 | Reuters

German court rejects last-ditch Demjanjuk appeal

BERLIN - Germany's Constitutional Court turned down an appeal from suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk on Wednesday, clearing the way for the trial to start next month of the man charged with helping to kill 27,900 Jews.

The trial of the 89-year-old retired U.S. auto worker is set to start on Nov. 30, 2009 in Munich and is likely to be Germany's last major Nazi-era war crimes trial.

Demjanjuk, long wanted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center which hunts Nazi war crimes suspects, was deported from the United States in May and has been in jail near Munich ever since.

Demjanjuk's lawyer had filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court, Germany's highest court, arguing he had already spent years in custody during a previous trial in Israel after he was extradited there in 1986.

"The complaint will not be heard by the Constitutional Court," the court said in a statement. In July, the high court had turned down another appeal by Demjanjuk that his deportation from the United States infringed his basic rights.

The Wiesenthal Center says Demjanjuk pushed men, women and children into gas chambers at the Sobibor death camp in what is now Poland. Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk denies any role in the Holocaust and his family argues he is too frail to stand trial.

Demjanjuk says he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941, became a German prisoner of war and served at German prison camps until 1944. He emigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a naturalised U.S. citizen.

He was stripped of his citizenship after being accused in the 1970s of being "Ivan the Terrible", a sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp.

He was extradited to Israel, tried and in 1988 sentenced to death but Israel's Supreme Court overturned the conviction based on new evidence showing another man was probably "Ivan".  [W.Z.  There was no new evidence! The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) had possession of this exculpatory evidence before the start of the 1981 Cleveland denaturalization trial.]

Demjanjuk returned to the United States and regained his citizenship but was again deprived of it in 2002 after the U.S. Justice Department refiled its case against him, arguing he had worked for the Nazis as a guard at Sobibor and three other death camps. [W.Z. Once again the authors do not report that the OSI was declared guilty of prosecutorial misconduct constituting fraud on the court in obtaining the denaturalization of John Demjanjuk in 1981 and his extradition to Israel in 1986.]


juu, Guest | October 21 at 21:51

This is truly a strange case: there is NO proof that he EVER killed ANYONE ANYWHERE and at worst even NOW the worst that he is accused of is being a "guard" !??? All Germans who WERE guards have long ago been amnestied, along with even worse criminals! The late Erich Koch (double agent Communist-Nazi) Reichskomissar in Ukraine from 1941 until 1943, whose orders caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Nazi-occupied Ukraine, died of comfortable old age in a luxurious penthouse "jail" cell in Communist occupied Poland -- the Soviets easily could have extradited him to the USSR for his specific crimes against Ukrainians but didn't because he was doing their work for them while he was in German uniform -- one of the greastest spy stories in history!. Koch was a fanatic Communist when Hitler found him & easily he thought converted him into a fanatical Nazi (its the same thing except for the Jewish thing) with much power. The Communists could never ever have a more powerful agent!