German prosecutors want 6 years jail for John Demjanjuk

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2011 1:19 PM

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - German prosecutors demanded a six-year jail term Tuesday for John Demjanjuk, who they accused of helping kill 27,900 Jews in the Holocaust.

State prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz told a court in Munich in at the end of a 16-month trial that Demjanjuk, 90, was part of the Nazi machinery and an accomplice to murdering Jews. Prosecutors could have sought a jail term of up to 15 years.

Prosecutors accuse Demjanjuk, who was top of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted war criminals, of assisting in killings at the Sobibor death camp, where they say 250,000 Jews were killed. He denies having worked there.

The trial has been delayed periodically as Demjanjuk has refused at times to attend sessions on grounds of ill-health even though he was declared fit by doctors. His family says he is too frail for trial, which he began in November 2009 in a wheelchair and has attended lying down.

Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine and fought in the Red Army before the Nazis captured him and recruited him as a camp guard during World War Two. He emigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a naturalized citizen in 1958.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Ron Askew)