Letter to Richard Thornburgh
Broadley demands interview reports
"It is simply inconceivable that in its investigation of the Demjanjuk case the OSI did not interview Mr. Glazar, a Treblinka survivor, and that it did not interview Kurt Franz, the Treblinka commandant, and Franz Suchomel, a guard at the camp. It is equally inconceivable that the interviewing OSI attorney or investigator did not prepare a report on the interview. Somewhere in OSI there should be at least three interview reports covering OSI interviews with Glazar, Franz and Suchomel regarding their knowledge of Demjanjuk." — John Broadley
Direct evidence that Treblinka survivor Richard Glazar had indeed been interviewed by Demjanjuk prosecutors and on many occasions — though in this particular piece of evidence only Israeli prosecutors are mentioned — and that he promised to withhold his testimony from the Demjanjuk defense, can be found in a transcript of a tape recording of a telephone conversation between US attorney William Wolf and Richard Glazar.
The John H. Broadley letter below constitutes Exhibit C in Edward W. Nishnic's 2 Feb 1989 letter to all members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, which provides an excellent overview of the chief reasons for believing that the OSI suppressed or destroyed exculpatory evidence. Highly relevant to the Broadley letter below, and cited within it, is Martin Mendelsohn's November 1979 Supplemental Answers which has been posted on the Ukrainian Archive, and which is also Exhibit B in the above-mentioned Nishnic letter.
Any underlining that appears in color in the Broadley letter below was not in fact underlining in the original letter, but rather constitutes a clickable link introduced within the internet version of the letter.
If any reader has copies of the documents being sought in the Broadley letter below, he or she would be striking a great blow for truth by offering these to the Ukrainian Archive for publication.
JENNER & BLOCK
A PARTNERSHIP INCLUDING PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS
21 DUPONT CIRCLE, N. W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
December 24, 1988
|LAKE FOREST OFFICE
ONE WESTMINSTER PLACE
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS 60045
John H. Broadley
ONE IBM PLAZA
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60611
Honorable Richard Thornburgh
Department of Justice
10th & Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Re: Nishnic et al v. Department of Justice
Dear Mr. Thornburgh:
I wrote to you on October 24, 1988 asking that you make a discretionary release of certain interview reports prepared by Department of Justice attorneys or investigators of interviews they had with Mr. Richard Glazar, who was a potential witness in the trial of Mr. John Demjanjuk in Israel. I attached to that letter certain documents released by the Department of Justice in its response to Mr. Nishnic's FOIA request and the captioned litigation. Those documents strongly suggested that Office of Special Investigations (OSI) attorneys had arranged to interview Mr. Glazar in Germany in early September 1979. A further review of the FOIA document production suggests that the interview may have taken place in Washington, D.C. in October 1979.1
I have attached hereto document Nos. 376 and 377 which were produced in response to the FOIA law suit. As you can see, it appears that a Swiss resident is making arrangements for an interview with OSI regarding the Demjanjuk matter, and that OSI had made arrangements for him to stay at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria. So far as we are aware, Mr. Glazar was the only potential witness living in Switzerland, thus it is possible that the arrangements being made through the attached correspondence were in lieu of the earlier arrangements for a meeting in Germany.
I request that you give the issues raised by this matter high priority. Because of the untimely death of Mr. Demjanjuk's lead Israeli counsel (and an acid attack on his Israeli co-counsel), the appeal of Mr. Demjanjuk's conviction which was to have been heard before the Israeli Supreme Court on December 6 has been postponed for five months. Thus, there is still time for the requested documents to be produced and to be useful to the defense.2
It is simply inconceivable that in its investigation of the Demjanjuk case the OSI did not interview Mr. Glazar, a Treblinka survivor, and that it did not interview Kurt Franz, the Treblinka commandant, and Franz Suchomel, a guard at the camp. It is equally inconceivable that the interviewing OSI attorney or investigator did not prepare a report on the interview.3 Somewhere in OSI there should be at least three interview reports covering OSI interviews with Glazar, Franz and Suchomel regarding their knowledge of Demjanjuk. Mr. Nishnic clearly requested the interview reports in his 1986 FOIA request, and they are obviously relevant to the question of Mr. Demjanjuk's guilt or innocence of a capital offense. These documents have not been produced in response to Mr. Nishnic's FOIA request nor were they scheduled by the Department of Justice in its Vaughn index in the litigation.
In one of the hearings in the FOIA litigation regarding this matter, Judge Oberdorfer said that he would be embarrassed for the United States if relevant exculpatory documents were not produced by the United States in a matter of this type. The history of this matter has been one that does not reflect credit on either the Department of Justice or the legal system of this country. That potentially exculpatory documents would be withheld by the United States from a defendant in a criminal case — regardless of the crime of which the defendant is being accused — is simply shocking, yet it has clearly happened in this case.4 OSI's approach to production of the documents in its Demjanjuk file reflects no credit on the United States.5
Frankly, Mr. Attorney General, time is running out. It is long overdue that this matter be removed from the jurisdiction of the OSI and that you appoint a special counsel who has had no previous involvement with or relation to that office to determine (1) what has happened to the Glazar, Franz, and Suchomel interview reports, and (2) why the production of documents in this matter has been handled in the manner it has been.
We have been forced to expend enormous resources (all pro bono) to obtain limited and incomplete documents that are relevant to one of the most significant criminal trials of our era. The documents we have been seeking should have been produced voluntarily and completely by the Department of Justice at the time Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel for criminal prosecution. Whatever the motives or motivations of the staff of OSI in their approach to this case, the self-respect of the United States and its legal system require a far different approach than we have seen so far. In the long run, it also requires that you make sure that this type of approach by OSI to a criminal matter can never happen again.
I respectfully request that you give this matter your personal attention.
Yours very truly,
1 As I outlined in my October 24 letter, the Department of Justice did not produce the interview report for Mr. Glazar, nor did it schedule it as a withheld document on the Vaughn index it filed with the court in the FOIA litigation. As I explained, the documents produced and the Department's November 1979 supplementation to its interrogatory responses in the Demjanjuk denaturalization litigation strongly suggest that one or more interviews did in fact take place with Mr. Glazar. I should also note that the Department neither produced nor did it schedule in its Vaughn index the reports of interviews with Kurt Franz and Franz Suchomel, notwithstanding that the government's November 1979 interrogatory supplementation also suggests that interviews were conducted with those individuals.
2 I am disturbed that notwithstanding the obvious urgency of this matter and the fact that the request for investigative reports was originally made in May 1986, these documents have not been produced or scheduled. We understand that the Soviet interrogation reports that Judge Oberdorfer ordered produced in 1987 in the FOIA litigation were not kept with the primary Demjanjuk files at OSI but were contained in a separate file in the possession of Michael Wolfe, the Deputy Director of the office. We understand that Mr. Wolfe has now left the Department. It would be disturbing if these interview reports were destroyed or removed at the time of Mr. Wolfe's departure. I urge you to make sure that this possibility is investigated.
3 From documents we have obtained, OSI investigators prepared reports on interviews regarding Mr. Demjanjuk's driving record!
4 Several of the Soviet interrogation reports discussed in my earlier letters are clearly of an exculpatory nature. As I have previously noted, OSI attempted to withhold them as work product of OSI attorneys. It also attempted to withhold them on the basis of the privacy interests of those interrogated. So far as I am aware, OSI has released no document on the grounds that it is potentially exculpatory in the criminal case.
5 You will note from the various documents that I have attached to the October letter and to this letter have been heavily redacted. OSI has even excised Department of Justice file numbers which routinely are included on Department correspondence. They even excised the Demjanjuk file number from a copy of a letter they produced that was sent to the Clerk of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.