German prosecutors want six years jail for 'Nazi guard'

22nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

German prosecutors Tuesday called for a six-year jail sentence for John Demjanjuk, 90, accused of helping to murder 27,900 Jews during his alleged time as a Nazi death camp guard.

Prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz said there was "no reasonable doubt" that the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk participated in the Holocaust and that he worked at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland for six months in 1943.

"The accused was at first a victim of German aggression. Then he became a perpetrator with his participation in the mass murder of Jews," said Lutz, delivering his closing remarks.

"It's not about passing off German guilt for the mass murder committed by the SS onto someone else," he told the court in Munich, southern Germany.

Demjanjuk denies the charges against him.

It is still not clear when a verdict could be handed down, although the court has scheduled hearings until May 12.

Lutz said he could have called for anything between three and 15 years, which constitutes a life sentence in Germany.

He said one of the main reasons for a shorter sentence was that Demjanjuk had already spent eight years in jail in Israel, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible," a particularly sadistic Nazi guard at another camp, Treblinka.

Demjanjuk was released after the Israeli Supreme Court established they had the wrong man.

Since opening in November 2009 under an intense media spotlight, the trial has meandered slowly to a conclusion, with a myriad of stoppages due to the accused's health and defence team delaying tactics.

Now the prosecutor has delivered his closing remarks, several co-plaintiffs -- mainly relatives of Jews who died in the Holocaust -- will also speak, followed by the defence summing up.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article