Kyiv Post | 04May2011 | Associated Press
Demjanjuk attorney says his
client a victim (updated)
MUNICH (AP) -- John Demjanjuk's attorney
argued Wednesday [04May2011] for his client's acquittal on 28,060
accessory to murder, saying he never served as a Nazi guard and was a
victim himself of both the Soviet regime and the Germans.
Ulrich Busch said in his second day of closing remarks that
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk had suffered under the Soviet regime of Josef
Stalin before he was captured while serving with the Red Army and then
imprisoned by the Nazis.
The 91-year-old is accused of agreeing to serve as a death camp guard
after he was captured.
Prosecutors have called for a conviction and six-year prison sentence,
saying the evidence shows he trained at the Trawniki SS camp and then
served as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.
Busch underlined that in some 30 years of legal proceedings, Demjanjuk
has always maintained his innocence.
"Was John Demjanjuk in Sobibor?" Busch asked. "This question has always
been asked and he has always replied that he was not in Sobibor, he was
not in Treblinka, and he was not in Trawniki."
Demjanjuk had no reaction to the comments, lying in a bed as he has for
much of the trial wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap pulled down low
over his face.
A key piece of evidence that prosecution has presented is a Trawniki
identity card, which has a photo of Demjanjuk on it and indicates he
was sent from the training camp to Sobibor. Experts testified during
the trial that they believed the card to be valid.
But Busch said the card is a forgery. He accused the court of not
seeking more expert opinion on it and questioned why it had not
searched for more evidence in the case.
He said there was clearly more to be found, citing an Associated Press
report from last month that brought to light a 1985 FBI file which
indicated the agency believed the Trawniki ID card was a Soviet-made
Busch said there were also indications that more files on Demjanjuk
were being kept in Russia, but that the court had rejected requests to
search for them.
"What is this court scared of?" he asked.
The defense's closing remarks are scheduled to continue Thursday,
05May2011, and a
verdict is expected next week.