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Illness forces Demjanjuk trial postponement

(JTA) — The trial of accused Nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk was postponed because the defendant was too sick to come to court.

Prison doctors determined that Demjanjuk, 89, and said to be ill with several chronic disorders, had a fever and infection and could not be taken to court in Munich.

The trial, which began Monday, is set to resume Dec. 21 and is still expected to end in May.

Demjanjuk is accused of being an accessory to the murder of 29,700 Jews at the Sobibordeath camp in Poland in 1943. He has denied the charges, saying he was a Soviet prisoner of war in a German camp.

In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department charged Demjanjuk with being a guard at Sobibor and revoked his citizenship for lying about his Nazi past in order to gain citizenship. He was extradited to Germany in May.

In the early 1980s, Demjanjuk was accused of being the notorious guard "Ivan the Terrible" at the Treblinka death camp. He was deported to Israel in 1986 and sentenced to death in 1988. But the Israeli Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1993 after finding reasonable doubt that he was the guard in question.

New evidence allowed the current charges to be brought.
 

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