TEL AVIV (Mar. 29)
The defense of alleged war criminal John Demjanjuk suffered a setback Sunday when the Supreme Court rejected an appeal to delay presentation of evidence by historian Wolfgang Schefler.
The motion by defense counsel Mark O’Connor had been denied earlier by the three-judge panel hearing the case in Jerusalem district court. O’Connor argued that the defense needed more time to study the testimony Schefler will present.
But the high court ruled that it could not intervene. The Supreme Court has yet to decide on another appeal by O’Connor calling on the district court judges to disqualify themselves because of alleged bias against the defendant and his attorneys.
Israel Radio reported Sunday that O’Connor expects to receive evidence from the U.S. that will disprove the authenticity of the so-called Trawniki document, the SS identification card issued at the Trawniki camp where Ukrainians were trained for duties at the Treblinka death camp.
The card, bearing the photograph and physical details of Demjanjuk, was obtained from the Soviet Union. According to the defense, it is a forgery. Demjanjuk is alleged to be the sadistic Treblinka guard known to inmates as “Ivan the Terrible.” He claims he was a German POW during the war and never set foot near Treblinka.