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Prosecutors drop demand for Demjanjuk to return to jail

The Local · 8 Jul 2011, 17:33

Published: 08 Jul 2011 17:33 GMT+02:00

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The prosecution in the southern German city of Munich said given that the regional Bavarian government had placed the 91-year-old in a retirement home where police report he is in fact residing, he did not pose a flight risk.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was sentenced in May by a Munich court to a five-year prison term, and he had been in prison before and during the 18-month-long trial.

But a judge released him pending his appeal of the verdict because of his age and that he no longer posed a danger to society.

Demjanjuk is also now stateless, having been extradited by the United States and deprived of his US citizenship for lying about his past to US immigration, which means he cannot leave Germany to escape justice, the judge added.

Demjanjuk was found guilty of helping the Nazis gas some 27,900 Jews while serving as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in German-occupied Poland during World War II.

While there was no direct evidence of his presence or actions at the camp, the court said it believed he had served there as a guard, and was therefore automatically implicated in killings carried out there at the time.

Demjanjuk had denied the charges and has filed an appeal.

Story continues below…

The prosecution, which had asked for a six-year prison sentence, has also appealed the court's decision.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:43 July 9, 2011 by n230099
Not sure he's guilty but it sure would feel better if we did something to him anyway.
23:28 July 9, 2011 by vonSchwerin
A retirement home?! Did he give the prisoners in the concentration camp(s) where he worked the choice of spending their time in a cushy retirement home? How about sending him to prison? At least a prison hospital.
05:26 July 10, 2011 by catjones
Germany's soul is now cleansed.
08:22 July 10, 2011 by wenddiver
He might be him, but the Israelis say no. If the Israeli courts cleared him, I don't think the German cour'ts scape goating him will clear their conscience. Trust me the world will still blame World war II on the joint rape of little Poland by Germany's Nazis and Russia's Communists. Joint partners in the worst crime ever. May the world never see these evil ideologies again.
18:40 July 12, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
"While there was no direct evidence of his presence or actions at the camp, the court said it believed he had served there as a guard, and was therefore automatically implicated in killings carried out there at the time."

Right! Because in Germany someone is already guilty until proven inncocent. Isreal did, in fact, clear him, so what is with this trial? It's harrassment of an elderly person. No evidence, guilty by perceived association...that sounds like the old Germany! How ironic.
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