New York Times | 08Feb2011 | Associated Press
Demanjuk Defense Says It Has New
MUNICH (AP) — John Demjanjuk's attorney told a Munich court Tuesday he
has obtained new evidence that throws into question a key witness'
statement that the defendant killed Jews at the Nazi's Sobibor death
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, a former Ohio autoworker, is standing trial
on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly having been a
guard at Sobibor. He denies the charges.
Earlier in the trial, the court read aloud summaries of statements by
Sobibor guard Ignat Danilchenko, who allegedly told Soviet officials
that he remembered Demjanjuk from the death camp.
In one summary, Danilchenko said he served with Demjanjuk at Sobibor
and that Demjanjuk "like all guards in the camp, participated in the
mass killing of Jews."
The statements from Danilchenko, who is now dead, were made in 1949 and
1979. The defense has argued that they could have been made under
torture and should not be admitted as evidence.
On Tuesday, attorney Ulrich Busch said he had obtained another
statement that Danilchenko had given to the Soviets in 1985.
In that document, Danilchenko refers to several other guards but never
Demjanjuk. He says that none of the Ukrainian guards were able to go in
to the areas where Jews were stripped of their clothes and remaining
possessions, and then gassed.
"The watchmen had no access to the second or third zones," Danilchenko
said, according to the transcript. "Exclusively Germans carried out the
Prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz noted that other witnesses had testified
that Ukrainian guards did participate in the killing process. None,
however, identified Demjanjuk.
Busch, who said he received the 1985 testimony from an attorney
representing the families of Sobibor victims in the case, told the
court another statement from Danilchenko from 1983-4 is understood to
exist, and asked that it be traced.
Demjanjuk, 90, had his U.S. citizenship revoked in 1981 after the U.S.
Justice Department alleged he hid his past as the notorious Treblinka
death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible."
He was extradited to Israel, where he was found guilty and sentenced to
death in 1988. But Israel's supreme court overturned that conviction
five years later as a case of mistaken identity.
In a 1993, a federal U.S. appeals panel concluded that the Department
of Justice's Office of Special Investigations had failed to disclose
exculpatory information -- including statements of Ukrainian guards at
Treblinka who "clearly identified" another man as "Ivan the Terrible"
-- in a timely fashion to the defense due to a "win at any cost"
"This case has been fraught with government cover-up, prosecutorial
misconduct and fraud over the years and this is but another chapter of
the same," Demjanjuk Jr. said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
"If the Germans are interested in justice, they will simply ask the
Russians and the U.S. to turn over all the evidence including Soviet
Investigative file 1627 and the missing Danilchenko report."
Rising reported from Berlin
-- as above --
son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said already the court had rejected a request for
another former Soviet file "1627" on their investigation into Demjanjuk, and
said it had a responsibility to make an effort to get all available evidence,
especially given the history of the case.
Kyiv Post |
08Feb2011 | Associated Press
Demanjuk defense says it has new
MUNICH (AP) -- John Demjanjuk's attorney
says he has obtained new evidence that throws into question the
statement of a key witness that the defendant killed Jews at the Nazi's
Sobibor death camp.
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is standing trial on 28,060 counts of
accessory to murder for allegedly having been a guard at Sobibor. He
denies the charges.
Attorney Ulrich Busch told Munich court judges Feb.8 that he had
received transcripts of a 1985 interview with former Sobibor guard
Ignat Danilchenko, who is now dead, who told Soviet officials none of
the Ukrainian auxiliary guards were used by the Nazis inside the camp.
That contradicts summaries of a 1979 interrogation where Danilchenko
allegedly said Demjanjuk "like all guards in the camp, participated in
the mass killing of Jews."