JERUSALEM (Apr. 4)
The High Court of Justice will meet next week to consider admitting new documents that would reopen the trial against convicted war criminal John “Ivan the Terrible” Demjanjuk.
Five justices met Monday after Demjanjuk’s defense attorney, Yoram Sheftel, had asked the Supreme Court to reopen the case, claiming new evidence would show bias against the three-judge panel that found Demjanjuk guilty.
If the new evidence is accepted, it is likely to be considered in Demjanjuk’s appeal of his death sentence, which is now scheduled to be made on Nov. 1.
Sheftel has based his request upon the question as to when it became publicly known that Sobibor, near Treblinka, was also a death camp.
The trial judges noted in their verdict that Sobibor was unknown until 1948, but Sheftel quotes articles from both Hebrew newspapers and The New York Times that mention the camp as early as February 1944.
Sobibor is important for the state prosecution because of the so-called Trawniki identity card, which showed that he was trained to be an SS guard.
Sheftel wrote in his plea to the five justices that “this discrepancy illustrates the extreme lack of caution that characterized the court in making a far-reaching conclusion to the detriment of the appellant.”