‘Nazi guard’ Demjanjuk’s lawyer calls for acquittal
MUNICH, Germany — Alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk’s lawyer called Tuesday for his client to be acquitted in final arguments at the end of a high-profile trial in Germany.
Lawyer Ulrich Busch told the court in Munich, where the Ukrainian-born 91-year-old has been on trial since November 2009, that documents from Germany’s federal office for investigating Nazi crimes proved his innocence.
“No individual accusation is evident in the documents provided,” Busch said, quoting from a file provided by the investigating office in Ludwigsburg in 2003 based on information acquired from the United States.
Demjanjuk, who as a Soviet Red Army soldier fell into German hands as a prisoner of war in 1942, was deported in May 2009 from the United States, where he worked for decades as a mechanic, to face trial in Germany.
He has been charged with 27,900 counts of accessory to murder while a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943. He denies the charges.
Prosecution lawyers have called for Demjanjuk, who has appeared in court in a wheelchair or stretcher and who his family says is gravely ill, to be sentenced to six years in prison.
A verdict in the trial, set to be one of the last major cases dealing with the crimes of the Nazis before and during World War II, is expected next week.