Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini set for top EU jobs

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Europe

Nazi guard Demjanjuk sentenced to prison

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-12

A German court Thursday found John Demjanjuk, 91, guilty of being an accessory to murder while working as a guard in a Nazi death camp during World War II and sentenced him to five years in prison. The defence says it will appeal.

AP - Retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk was convicted of thousands of counts of acting as an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp and sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison - closing one chapter in a decades-long legal battle.

It was not immediately how much credit the 91-year-old native of Ukraine he would get for time served.
 
Demjanjuk was charged with 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder, one for each person who died during the time he was accused of being a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
 
There was no evidence he committed a specific crime. The prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing - the first time such a legal argument has been made in German courts.
 
Demjanjuk sat in a wheelchair in front of the judges as they announced their verdict, but showed no reaction. Earlier Thursday, he had declined the opportunity to make a final statement to the court.
 
“The court is convinced that the defendant ... served as a guard at Sobibor from 27 March 1943 to mid September 1943,” presiding Judge Ralph Alt said as he announced the verdict.
 
The verdict will not entirely end more than 30 years of legal wrangling. The defense has pledged to appeal any German conviction, and legal proceedings continue in the United States.
 
In the 1980s, Demjanjuk stood trial in Israel after he was accused of being the notoriously brutal guard “Ivan the Terrible” at the Treblinka extermination camp. He was convicted, sentenced to death - then freed when an Israeli court overturned the ruling, saying the evidence showed he was the victim of mistaken identity.
 
Demjanjuk maintains he was a victim of the Nazis - first wounded as a Soviet soldier fighting German forces, then captured and held as a prisoner of war under brutal conditions before joining the Vlasov Army, a force of anti-communist Soviet POWs and others was formed to fight with the Germans against the Soviets in the final months of the war.

 

Date created : 2011-05-12

COMMENT(S)