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Osidach Trial to Resume Nov. 17

The trial of accused war criminal Woladymir Osidach, which opened here Sept. 25, and was briefly adjourned earlier this month due to his hospitalization with chest pains, is scheduled to resume Nov. 17, it was reported by Jewish Exponent News Editor David Gross. At that time the prosecution and the defense will submit their “requests for findings of fact and conclusions of law” — showing what each side feels the evidence has proven and the law requires — and present their final arguments.

The defense rested its case last week without Osidach having taken the stand on his own behalf. Defense attorney Louis Konowol had offered to let the 76-year-old Logan resident testify as long as his time on the stand was limited, but he also submitted a physician’s letter asserting that Osidach, who has a history of heart trouble, could testify only if his medical condition was “stable.”

U.S. District Judge Louis Bechtle, who has been hearing the denaturalization case without a jury and had postponed the proceedings for two weeks while Osidach was hospitalized, ruled that the court could not be responsible for the defendant’s health in the absence of a physician. Since Osidach could not afford to keep a physician in attendance — the government had provided such a service while he was a prosecution witness — the prosecution and defense agreed that his earlier deposition would be admitted as evidence.

The government also stipulated for the record that Osidach would have testified to several things had he taken the stand, but not that those things were true. Among those was that he had hidden a Jewish family — a woman and child named Landau — in his cellar during the Nazi occupation of the Ukrainian village of Rawa Ruska. He also would have said that he was not involved with the Jewish ghetto while serving as a Ukrainian militiaman — before he become police chief — and would have disputed several specific points about locations and names about which prosecution witnesses had testified.

The government also agreed to admit the deposition of Osidach’s wife Iwanna rather than having her take the stand. Konowat added that Osidach would have stated that he helped a young Jewish girl obtain an identity card, but Justice Department prosecutor Neal Sher would not stipulate that because it is not contained in Osidach’s deposition. Konowol also maintained that a photograph of Osidach in uniform published in the Daily News was not really a picture of the defendant.

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