18 May 2010
John Demjanjuk, a 90-year-old accused of helping to murder 27,900 Jews as a guard at a Nazi death camp, was taken to hospital Tuesday after complaining of heart problems, a court spokesman said. "Demjanjuk felt ill before today's session and he was taken to hospital," Hans-Kurt Hertel, a spokesman for the court in the southern city of Munich, said.
Hertel added that a session planned for Wednesday was expected to go ahead. Demjanjuk's family say he is suffering from a litany of health complaints and will likely not survive the trial. Doctors have judged him fit to stand trial but limited the time he is in court. Several sessions have been postponed after Demjanjuk complained of pain or dizziness. He has not spoken in court but released a statement in April where he described the trial against him as "torture" and "an unbearable injustice".
Demjanjuk is accused of spending six months in 1943 at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, pushing thousands of Jews into gas chambers. He has always denied the charges. He was previously found guilty in Israel of being "Ivan the Terrible", a particularly sadistic death camp guard at Treblinka, but released after the Israeli Supreme Court established they had the wrong man.
The court has scheduled sessions until September 14, but given the frequent pauses, the trial is likely to continue beyond this date.
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