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Demjanjuk declared fit enough for trial

DOCTORS have determined that John Demjanjuk is fit to stand trial on charges that he was an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp, German prosecutors said yesterday.

The doctors said the 89-year-old retired auto worker, recently deported from the United States, can stand trial so long as his time in court does not exceed two 90-minute sessions daily, Munich prosecutors said.

They added that formal charges can be expected this month.

Demjanjuk is accused of being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Prosecutors allege he was an accessory to murder in 29,000 cases.

"We are very pleased that this will pave the way for him to be prosecuted in Germany," said Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"This has been a very complicated case, but it is important that Demjanjuk, who actively participated in the implementation of the Final Solution, finally receive an appropriate punishment," Zuroff said in Jerusalem.

Demjanjuk has been in custody in Munich since arriving there on May 12 after losing a court battle to stay in the US.

Demjanjuk's health was a key issue in that battle. His son, John Demjanjuk Jr said German doctors had told him his father had about 16 months to live due to leukemic bone marrow disease.

"With less than two years for my father to live, a career-seeking German prosecutor is hastily pressing forward indicative of a 100 percent politically motivated effort to blame Ukrainians and Europeans for the crimes of the Germans," Demjanjuk Jr said.

"This has nothing to do with bringing anyone to justice or fitness for trial."


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