'Nazi guard' trial extended by three months: German court

17th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The trial of a 90-year-old accused of 27,900 counts of accessory to murder during his alleged time as a Nazi death camp guard in 1943 has been extended by three months, a German court said Thursday.

John Demjanjuk's last hearing is planned for December 22, the regional superior court in the southern city of Munich said in a statement. Previously, hearings had been scheduled until September 14.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, whose family says has serious health problems, has appeared at the trial in a wheelchair or a stretcher and has not spoken in court since proceedings began on November 30 last year.

Doctors have judged Demjanjuk fit to stand trial but have limited his time in court to two hearings of 90 minutes per day. Several hearings have nonetheless been cancelled because he felt ill.

He stands accused of being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in modern-day Poland, where an estimated 250,000 people died, and has always denied the charges against him.

In a statement read out by his lawyer in April, Demjanjuk described the trial as "torture", adding: "I find it an unbearable injustice that Germany is trying to make me, a prisoner of war, into a war criminal with this trial."

© 2010 AFP

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