19 January 2011
The alleged Nazi war criminal Ivan (John) Demjanjuk has been indicted by the Spanish Supreme Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The court in Madrid made public its request of a week ago for an international arrest warrant for Demjanjuk, 90, who is currently on trial in Munich, Germany. Spain accuses Demjanjuk of responsibility for the deaths of between 50 and 155 Spanish prisoners in the World War II German concentration camp Flossenbürg. In Spain, the law of universal jurisdiction people to be tried for certain crimes even if they didn't take place on Spanish soil.
Demjanjuk is currently on trial in Munich, Germany, on charges of accessory to the 1943 murder of at least 27,900 Jews in the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. Madrid has asked that Demjanjuk be extradited to Spain after the end of his trial in Munich.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge in that trial has said he expects to deliver a verdict by March. Demjanjuk went on trial in November 2009. He denies the charges against him and claims that he never served in any Nazi camp and has been mistaken for someone else. Judge Ralph Alt told the court that he had scheduled closing arguments for the prosecution in the last week of February, defense closings would be in mid-March, and that the verdict could come at the end of that month.
At the same time, Alt rejected more motions from the defense for additional witnesses and files, including documents on Demjanjuk the defense says are being held in Russia and could prove that a Sobibor identity card attributed to Demjanjuk (see above) actually was that of another guard.
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