JERUSALEM (Feb. 28)
Israel’s High Court of Justice has agreed to consider new evidence that might support the alibi of convicted war criminal John Demjanjuk, who was sentenced to death two years ago.
It is scheduled to hear his appeal May 14.
Demjanjuk’s Israeli defense lawyer, Yoram Sheftel, will interview a witness in West Germany before trying to corroborate the claim that Demjanjuk is a victim of mistaken identity.
The Ukrainian-born former automobile worker from Cleveland was found guilty by a Jerusalem district court in 1988 of responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews between 1942 and 1943, when he was a guard at the Treblinka death camp. His brutality earned him the moniker “Ivan the Terrible.”
Demjanjuk, 69, claims he was a German prisoner of war and was never in Treblinka.
Sheftel said he learned only in December of a West German woman, Josefine Dolle, whose testimony might give credence to that claim.
Dolle, 70, was a clerk at the German military camp in Heuberg, where Demjanjuk claims he was part of Vlasov’s Army, a group of captured Red Army soldiers who defected to the Germans.
Dolle’s evidence does not include photographs of Demjanjuk, nor does she claim to have known him. But she can testify that there were Red Army defectors at the camp at the time Demjanjuk says he was there, Sheftel explained.