TEL AVIV (Mar. 15)
The Jerusalem district court will reconvene in special session Monday to hear new evidence by the defense in the case of accused war criminal John Demjanjuk, whose year-long trial ended officially last month.
The three-judge panel, which is now deliberating its verdict, agreed to a request by chief defense counsel Yoram Sheftel to be allowed to introduce new written evidence obtained from the United States under the Freedom of Information Act. The prosecution assented.
The evidence is a series of reports prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice. They relate to evidence presented in American courts at hearings over a period of years that led to the stripping of Demjanjuk’s U.S. citizenship and his extradition to Israel in 1986 to stand trial for war crimes.
Demjanjuk, 67, a Ukrainian-born, retired automobile worker, is accused of being the Treblinka death camp guard known as “Ivan the terrible,” who brutalized Jewish inmates and operated the gas chambers. The defense claims he is a victim of mistaken identity.
The new evidence is said to include the testimony of 15 former inmates of Treblinka and six from other camps, who either failed to identify Demjanjuk as “Ivan” at the American hearings or testified they knew him at other camps during the time he was alleged to be at Treblinka.