DEMJANIUK - COURT DECISION TODAY

12.05.11


BBC News Europe.  A court in Germany is expected to give its verdict in the case of alleged death camp guard John Demjanjuk.

The 91-year-old is accused of having helped to murder 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

Mr Demjanjuk denies the charges, and his defence lawyer has called for his client to be acquitted.

The lawyer said during the Munich trial that prosecutors had failed to produce any evidence of Mr Demjanjuk's guilt.

The prosecutors are calling for Mr Demjanjuk to be sentenced to six years in jail.

They say he participated willingly in the Holocaust.

Mr Demjanjuk insists that he was forced to help the Nazis and had no choice.

An estimated 250,000 people died in the gas chambers at Sobibor.

Born in Ukraine, Mr Demjanjuk emigrated to the US in 1951 and later became a naturalised citizen.

In 2009, the retired Ohio carworker was extradited to Germany from the US to face trial.

Mr Demjanjuk had already spent eight years in detention in Israel.

In the 1980s, an Israeli court identified him as "Ivan the Terrible", a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp. But his conviction was overturned after new evidence showed that another Ukrainian was probably responsible.

For more information see also:  http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15064271,00.html

 



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