TEL AVIV (May. 11)
John Demjanjuk, the only suspected Nazi war criminal ever deported to Israel for trial, was remanded Friday to another 15 days in jail while the public prosecutor and police continued to collect evidence that he was the notorious Treblinka death camp guard known to inmates as “Ivan the Terrible.”
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, a former U.S. citizen, has been in custody for 75 days. He is confined to an isolation cell at Ayalon prison near Ramle. The periodic remands are a formality under Israel criminal law held over from British Mandate law.
Judge Aharon Simcha, who was assigned to the case, travels periodically to Ayalon to speak briefly to the prisoner and sign the remand papers. Demjanjuk, who will be defended in court by an American attorney, insists he is a victim of mistaken identity.
But according to Simcha, prosecutor Alex Ish-Shalom and his police investigators are amassing evidence to refute that claim. He said additional time, possibly another 15 days, will be required to build an airtight case.