July 2, 1999 Faxed to: (416) 585-5085
The Editor, Toronto Globe & Mail
Re: Andrew Cohen “Settling Score” article on John Demjanjuk (June 21, 1999)
On the resumption of prosecution against John Demjanjuk, Mr. Cohen’s article could have adhered to a few elementary journalistic standards, particularly in his uncritical acceptance of remarks made by Neal Sher.
Mr. Sher claimed that a court which held the OSI (headed by him) had committed “fraud on the court” (stemming from prosecutorial misconduct) was followed by another judgment exonerating OSI tactics. Not so. He is referring to lower court Master Thomas Wiseman’s report dated April 30, 1993 -- Senior court Judge Lively gave his condemnatory verdict Nov. 17, 1993, thoroughly rejecting Wiseman’s white-wash.
Mr. Sher did not bother to tell Mr. Cohen a few other facts: that Judge Paul Matia upheld the fraud-on-the-court ruling in his decision Feb. 20, 1998; that Senior Judge Gilbert Merritt confirmed his court would never have revoked Demjanjuk’s citizenship had he known OSI were “lying through their teeth”; that the Trawniki I.D. card OSI is once again relying on in their new “civil case” is a document that is a proven KGB forgery containing no fewer than a dozen irregularities on its face; and that Mr. Sher himself is still the subject of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into perjury committed while conducting other war crimes cases.
Unfortunately, Mr. Cohen has missed the point -- the question is not whether Demjanjuk should be left alone because of advanced age, ill health, or consideration for what he has endured -- he should be left alone because he is innocent, and the OSI knows it, just like they knew for 17 years that he wasn’t “Ivan the Terrible”.
Eugene Harasymiw, LL.B.