fox12idaho.com | 25Oct2010 | Andrea Jarach
Health issues raised again at Demjanjuk trial
MUNICH (AP) -- A German judge ordered that the trial of John Demjanjuk
go ahead Monday after overruling the defense's argument the
90-year-old's health is deteriorating and that he can no longer
concentrate on the proceedings.
Presiding Judge Ralph Alt ruled that the session should continue after
the court doctor said he could see no signs that Demjanjuk's health had
Demjanjuk, who was deported from the U.S. to Germany in May 2009, is
being tried on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder over allegations
that he served as a guard at the Nazi's Sobibor death camp in occupied
He denies the charges, saying he never served the Nazis as a guard
anywhere. The defense maintains Demjanjuk was a Soviet soldier captured
by the Germans and spent most of the war in prison camps himself.
Demjanjuk suffers from a number of medical problems, and since his
trial began last November a dozen sessions have been canceled due to
He arrives by wheelchair to the courtroom and lies in a hospital bed
during the proceedings, usually wearing dark sunglasses.
Defense attorney Ulrich Busch told the court Monday that his condition
has worsened, and that he is now in almost constant pain and cannot
follow the proceedings, nor read the documents being submitted as
"It is difficult for him to read the text and he can do so only
sporadically, for a maximum of 10 minutes," Busch told the court.
Demjanjuk has been found fit for trial, however, and court doctor
Albrecht Stein said after Busch's complaint that he saw no indications
his condition had changed. That prompted Alt to order the session to go
ahead with a witness's testimony.
Demjanjuk -- who is usually silent during the court sessions -- moaned
regularly during the proceedings and was given pain killers twice by
Near the end of the day Stein said heart problems could be causing the
pain, but that he could not say for sure without an electrocardiogram,
and said one would be done later at the prison hospital where Demjanjuk
is being held.
is absolutely no information of what transpired in the courtroom.
Surely, informing people of who testified and what was said is more
important than 12 paragraphs of drivel. Is this the quality of
Associated Press reporting?]