German prosecutors formally charged John Demjanjuk today with 27,900 counts of being an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp during World War II, reports the AP. The 89-year-old retired auto worker, who was deported from the US in May, faces 15 years for every count. Prosecutors accuse Demjanjuk of serving as a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943, but he insists he spent the war in prison.
Doctors cleared the way for formal charges earlier this month, determining that Demjanjuk was fit to stand trial so long as court hearings do not exceed two 90-minute sessions per day. "The effort to bring Demjanjuk to justice sends a very powerful message that the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the perpetrator," said Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.