Menu JTA Search

Court Grants Extension of Demjanjuk Appeal

The High Court of Justice has agreed to a request from the lawyer of convicted Nazi war criminal John (“Ivan the Terrible”) Demjanjuk to postpone hearing an appeal of his death sentence until Nov. 1.

Citing ill health, attorney Yoram Sheftel requested the delay in order for him to find another attorney to help appeal the sentence.

Sheftel has not yet been able to find a replacement for his legal partner, Dov Eitan, who leaped to his death from a Jerusalem tower Nov. 29.

At Eitan’s funeral, a survivor of Nazi death camps threw acid in Sheftel’s face, which affected his eyes and hindered his preparation of an appeal.

The appeal had originally been scheduled for May, more than a year after sentence was passed on the Ukrainian-born former U.S. citizen.

A five-man panel of the High Court of Justice, headed by its president, Meir Shamgar, will hear the appeal.

Demjanjuk, 68, was convicted April 18 of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, war crimes and crimes against a persecuted people.

During his Jerusalem trial, which lasted 15 months, he was identified as the Treblinka death camp guard known as “Ivan the Terrible,” who operated the gas chambers where more than 800,000 Jews perished during World War II.

If the death sentence is upheld, Demjanjuk will be the second war criminal executed in Israel. Adolf Eichmann was hanged in 1961.

NEXT STORY