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Demjanjuk Charged With 27,900 Holocaust Deaths

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2009 6:49 AM CDT
Demjanjuk Charged With 27,900 Holocaust Deaths
German prosecutors formally charged John Demjanjuk with 27,900 counts of accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp during World War II.   (Mark Duncan)

(Newser) – 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.

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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. (Read more John Demjanjuk stories.)

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