Alleged Nazi guard requests suspension of trial to investigate declassified FBI report

[JURIST] The lawyer for alleged Nazi concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile, JURIST news archive] requested Wednesday that Demjanjuk's trial for accomplice to murder be suspended in order to investigate an Associated Press report [text] stating that a recently declassified FBI field report [FBI report image] questions the authenticity of key evidence used in the prosecution. Ulrich Busch, Demjanjuk's lawyer, requested the suspension [Der Spiegel report, in German] to investigate the material being held at the National Archives in Maryland [officially website]. The report claims that the KGB "quite likely fabricated" evidence central to Demjanjuk's prosecution, specifically the Nazi ID card [ID card image] he allegedly used as a guard at the Sobibor death camp. Demjanjuk, who denies the allegations, currently faces a six-year sentence [JURIST report] if convicted. A verdict was expected within a month, but any grant of a delay may change that schedule.

The Spanish National Court announced in January that it is seeking the extradition of Demjanjuk [JURIST report] so he can stand trial on charges relating to his alleged involvement with the Flossenburg [HRP backgrounder] concentration camp where 60 Spanish citizens were killed during World War II. Demjanjuk's German trial, which began in November 2009, has been marked by extensive delay. In October 2009, Demjanjuk was found fit to stand trial [JURIST report] after the court rejected appeals relating to his health, although the court has limited hearings to no more than two 90-minute sessions per day. Demjanjuk fought a lengthy legal battle over his alleged involvement with Nazi death camps during World War II. He was deported to Germany in May 2009 after the US Supreme Court denied his stay of deportation [JURIST reports].

4/14/11 - The court has rejected the defense request to suspend trial proceedings.

 

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